3 Count: Not Excellent

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1: Starz Gets Green Light in Lawsuit Over MGM’s Breach of Exclusivity

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has given movie channel Starz the go ahead to pursue their lawsuit against movie studio MGM over allegations that MGM violated their contract by making supposedly exclusive movies available elsewhere.

The dispute stems over a 2013 contract that gave Starz the exclusive right to exhibit some 421 movies and television shows including modern James Bond movies, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bull Durham and Rain Man. However, according to Starz, some 340 of those works have been made available elsewhere in violation of the contract. This prompted Starz to sue not just for breach of contract, but for copyright infringement as it was a breach of their exclusive rights.

MGM, in their defense, didn’t deny they did it but instead said that it had been going on for years with Starz’ knowledge and they only now sued. However, the judge has said that Starz was under no obligation to continuously monitor the works it licensed and, as such, is allowing the case to move forward with damages limited to the three-year statute of limitations.

2: Delhi High Court Agrees to Hear Scientists, Organisations in Piracy Suit by Elsevier and Others Against Sci-Hub, LibGen

Next up today, Richa Banka at The Hindustan Times reports that, in India, the New Delhi High Court has agreed to hear feedback from members of the academic community before making a decision about whether to order the blocking of Sci Hub and Libgen.

The two sites are popular repositories of pirated scientific literature including studies and journals normally only available behind a paywall. As such, publishers are seeking to use a law in India that allows courts to compel ISPs to block pirate websites to also block Sci Hub and Ligen.

Usually such procedures are more of a formality but, in this case, the judge is allowing scientists, researchers and students to comment on the the case before signing off on any interim order. The move came after the Delhi Science Forum and the Society for Knowledge commons said that such a block would harm access to research in developing countries.

3: Trial Begins Over Davis County’s Withholding of Copyrighted Jail Standards

Finally today, Mark Shenefelt at The Standard-Examiner reports that attorneys representing Davis County, Utah are saying that they cannot turn over their jail standards because they the copyright is owned by a third-party company.

The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the Disability Law Center, which accuse the country of inadequate standards at Davis County Jail. However, the county says that they cannot turn over a copy of their standards because they were obtained from a company that writes and sells jail standards.

The judge, however, said such concerns are not relevant. He will only decide about whether to release the standards to the plaintiffs, not the public. If the ACLU were to release the standards, then the copyright holder would have an issue with them, not the county.

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