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1: Freeplay Music Calls Ford’s “False Advertising” Claim in Copyright Dispute “Absurd”

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Freeplay music has hit back at the Ford Motor company saying that claims of false advertising are an attempt to “abuse and distort consumer protection laws” and not an attempt to address the copyright issues in the case.

The dispute began when Freeplay sued Ford for using tracks from its library as part of advertisements without securing the needed licenses. Ford responded by raising some jurisdictional issues but also claiming that Freeplay engaged in false advertising.

According to Ford, Freeplay’s name and marketing were designed to trick people into thinking that they offer free music when, in truth, it requires a licensing fee for uses outside of YouTube. However, Freeplay is asking for those counterclaims to be dismissed saying that millions of other licensees had no trouble figuring out the terms of their music so why did Ford?

2: German Copyright Bill Includes Upload Filters, Despite Government’s Promises

Next up today, Philipp Grüll at EURACTIV reports that the German government has introduced a bill to try and transpose the new European Copyright Directive into national law. However, the proposed law includes a provision to require some online service providers to filter uploads despite promises last year that it would not.

The European Copyright Directive was passed in April 2019 and included provisions that both required search engines to pay for snippets, headlines and thumbnails from news agencies. It also required some online service providers to prevent the upload of infringing materials. The directive has a two-year span in which it is to be implemented into the national law of the member nations, which is what Germany is doing now.

The bill was published by Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht and has not been approved by the government yet. It does include the requirement that online service providers block the upload of infringing images but also prevents the “over-blocking” of legitimate content. However, this still runs counter to promises made in 2019, where the government said such filters would be avoided.

3: Italian Court Orders Cloudflare to Block a Pirate IPTV Service

Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sear at Torrentfreak writes that an Italian court has ordered CDN provider Cloudflare to block both current and future domain names and IP addresses of IPTV THE BEST, an alleged pirate TV service.

Cloudflare has a long history of claiming to be a neutral intermediary and taking no action against the sites on its network. It will forward copyright and other abuse notices to the original host, but take no other action. As a result of this, they’ve been placed on the EU piracy watchlist and face regular accusations of aiding pirate websites.

This particular case arose when two Italian companies filed a lawsuit against IPTV THE BEST and all of the site’s providers, including Cloudflare. Cloudflare argued that it is just an intermediary and that the court lacks jurisdiction. However, the court has denied those defenses and ordered Cloudflare to block the site. This is seen as an important decision as sites like Cloudflare are difficult to define under EU law and could pave the way for similar actions in the region.

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