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First off today, Ryan Parker at The Hollywood Reporter writes that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed charges against three individuals that it says were part of “Team Xecuter”, a group that makes and sells both software and devices to enable users to break the encryption on video game consoles and play pirated games on them.
The three men are located in China, Canada and the Dominican Republic. They are charged with some 11 felony counts including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, trafficking in circumvention devices, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Two of the three members were arrested last month and one has already been extradited to the United States. One, the Chinese national, has not been arrested. According to the DOJ, the group comprises of more than a dozen members all over the world, meaning that the three charged are just a fraction of the group’s total size.
Next up today, Lucas Manfredi at Fox Business reports that Yoko Ono has filed a new lawsuit against Frederic Seaman, the former personal assistant of her late husband John Lennon.
The story begins with Lennon’s death in 1980. Sometime after that, Seaman stole property from his home including journals, photographs and more. In 1983 he admitted as such to the Manhattan district attorney. However, things came to a head again in 1999 when Ono sued Seaman for failing to return the property and then selling some of it as memorabilia. That lawsuit was settled in 2002 and saw Seaman issuing an apology and agreeing to abide by a confidentiality agreement he signed in 1979.
However, a new lawsuit alleges that Seaman has violated that 2002 court order by sitting down for a 23-minute interview and discussing Lennon’s life while surrounded by memorabilia of him. As such, Ono is suing for copyright infringement over family photos and breach of contract for violating the previous agreements.
Finally today, Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica reports that Nikola Motors has issued DMCA notices to YouTube ordering the removal of videos that were critical of a recent promotional video released by the company.
In December 2016, Nikola released a video that showed a supposedly-functional electric truck driving down a highway. However, last month they admitted that the video was staged by having the truck rolling downhill. Since then, at least two YouTubers have had their videos removed by Nikola after posting critical videos that featured short clips from the original advertisement.
Nikola claims that YouTube actually reported the videos to them but YouTube claims that Nikola simply used the Copyright Match Tool they provide all members of their Partner Program and then opted to order the removal. It is unclear if the YouTuber’s impacted by the removal have filed counternotices to get the videos restored.