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First off today, First off today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that the trial of VidAngel has begun as a jury will be asked to determine how much service owes and that amount could range anywhere between $600,000 and $125 million.
VidAngel operated a streaming service where customers could “buy” a DVD for $20 and then “resell” it for $19 after they finished remotely streaming it. VidAngel touted itself as a family friendly streaming option, giving users the ability to filter out unwanted content from the films it streamed. However, after the movie studios filed a lawsuit, the courts ruled that VidAngel was infringing their rights, tantamount to running an unlicensed streaming service, and set up a trial for damages.
That trial is beginning and, though pre-trial wrangling saw both sides try to alter the amount of damages that could be won, it seems the court favored the studios, leaving the full range available. However, almost any damage award could spell the end for VidAngel, the company is already in bankruptcy in Utah and only has $2.2 million in the bank. Even as modest judgment against VidAngel could exceed their ability to pay.
2: Megaupload Would Have Made Pre-Internet Copyright Pirates ‘Green with Envy’ – the US Case for Kim Dotcom Extradition
Next up today, David Fisher at The New Zealand Herald reports that the extradition case against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has made it all the way tot he New Zealand Supreme Court as the US government argues for him to come to the United States.
Megaupload was an extremely popular file sharing website that was shuttered in January 2012 following a joint action by US and New Zealand Authority. Dotcom, who resides in New Zealand, was arrested along with about half a dozen others that operated the site. However, ever since then Dotcom has been fighting extradition to the United States.
So far Dotcom has had no luck persuading the courts to not extradite him and has appealed every decision. The appeal to the Supreme Court is his final opportunity to make the case. This trial was expected to end Friday but is now expected to run into next week.
Finally today, Campbell Kwan at ZDNet reports that, in Australia, Village Roadshow has won yet another legal battle to get suspected pirate sites blocked in the country, this time targeting 76 overseas sites.
On Wednesday a court ordered local ISPs to take action to block 76 sites that Village Roadshow accused of copyright infringement. This is per section 115A of the Copyright Act, which enables courts to require such blocks be put into place.
The move comes after an amendment to speed up the process has taken effect meaning that Village Roadshow spends just $50 ($35 USD) for each domain it wants blocked and the ISPs should disable access to them within 15 days. Many of the domains appear to be mirror websites, which was a goal of the amendment to speed up the process.