First off today, Natasha Bernal at The Telegram reports that the European Council has given final approval for the controversial copyright directives, including requirements that sites prevent the re-uploading of allegedly infringing material and that those aggregating news content pay a license fee for the use of snippets and headlines.
The directive survived its final reading before the European Parliament back in March and was widely expected to clear the final reading in the European Commission. There, 19 of the governments, including the UK and Germany, voted in favor of the directive while 6 opposed and 3 abstained.
The vote represents the final hurdle for the directive meaning that countries now have two years to implement the directives into their national law. They will take effect in either May or June 2021.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued an enforcement advisory that is targeting unlawful streaming set-top boxes, including those that are used to commit piracy.
According to the FCC, set top boxes sold and used in the United States are required to obtain certification that, among other things, they don’t cause interference with other products. However, many of the devices being sold and used in the country are not getting that FCC certification.
Though non-FCC compliant devices can be used for legal purposes, many are being sold with the intent of enabling piracy. The FCC is noting that violators could be subject to a penalty as high as $147,000 per violation. However, the law doesn’t just apply to those marketing and selling the boxes, but also to users as operating such a devices. However, the enforcement advisory is just an educational tool for businesses and consumers and is not necessarily an indication of increased enforcement.
Finally today, Janko Roettgers at Variety reports that Starz has apologized for filing a copyright notice against a Torrentfreak tweet that linked to a story about a mammoth leak of various Starz shows, most notably American Gods.
The leak itself has sparked a major anti-piracy push by Starz, which has included sending takedown notices to Tweets linking to the content. However, the Torrentfreak tweet nor its article provided any links to pirated content and, instead, was simply reporting on the link.
Starz has since apologized for the notice saying that it was simply an error and that it got caught up in the larger effort. It and other tweets unfairly impacted by the purge have been restored but many believe that Starz was reckless in its takedown campaign and that Twitter makes it too difficult to dispute such notices.