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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that a judge has ruled that Cox was aware of the piracy taking place on its service, even if he did not rule (at this time) that Cox is liable for it.
The lawsuit was filed by some 53 music companies that included all three of the major record labels. They allege that Cox, a major ISP, did not do enough to deter piracy on its network and, in particular, its process for disconnecting repeat infringers was not adequate. The lawsuit is similar to a recently settled one with BMG but this one Cox has fought more vigorously.
To that end, Cox has put up a variety of defenses, including that it was unaware of the piracy, that notices and evidence provided by the labels were inadequate and so forth. However, ahead of a trial, the judge has barred Cox from arguing that it was unaware. According to the judge, rightsholders sent emails to addresses set up by Cox for this purposed that were processed by their team designated to handle them. As such, is no doubt that Cox had “general knowledge” of infringement. While this doesn’t impart liability, it does equal a significant win for the rightsholders ahead of the trial.
Next up today, the AFP reports that the APIG pres alliance, a French group that represents dozens of national and regional papers in the country, has brought a complaint against Google for its “flouting” of the new EU copyright law.
At issue is the recently passed EU copyright directive that, among other things, requires search engines to pay a license fee when using snippets and thumbnails from news sources. However, when France implemented the law, Google simply declined to pay the license and said they would only use headlines and bylines from French sources in Google News unless they got free permission.
The AFP, which is also a member of the APIG, had already filed a complaint about this but now APIG has filed a complaint of their own. This sets the stage for a potential legal battle over these royalties and whether Google is allowed to avoid the law in this manner.
Finally today, Rory O’Neill at World Intellectual Property Review reports that Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour may be looking at a renewed copyright fight over his 2015 song Rattle That Lock.
Gilmour wrote the song after listening to a jingle used by France’s rail network SNCF. He received permission from the song’s composer, Michaël Boumendil and listed him as a co-author of the song. However, according to Boumendil, that arrangement only extended to him re-recording the notes and not using the actual sample, which he did.
A court previously ruled that Boumendil’s complaint was time-barred but he has now appealed that decision. Boumendil is seeking €450,000 ($498,000) in damages for the use of his song.