3 Count: Freeing the Flag

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1: Movie Companies Use DMCA ‘Shortcut’ To Expose Alleged CenturyLink Pirates

First off today, Andy Maxwell at Torrerntfreak writes that a group of independent filmmakers have taken a “shortcut” in a bid to expose the names and addresses of alleged pirates of their content.

The case involves the movie studios Voltage Pictures, Millenium Funding, and LHF Productions as they seek to exposed alleged pirates who use Centurylink, a major U.S. ISP. Rather than filing a lawsuit against “John Doe” defendants and getting a traditional subpoena, they instead filed for a DMCA subpoena in an attempt to expose the information without having to have a judge approve it.

According to their filing, the section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that governs such subpoenas doesn’t just apply to web hosts, but also to internet service providers like Centurylink. Their argument was apparently strong enough that the clerk signed and issued the subpoena against the company. If Centurylink does not choose to fight the subpoena, it could mean that 13 of their subscribers listed in it could have their information exposed.

2: Celeb Photography Agency Sues Ntando Duma for Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Naledi de Wee at The South African reports that local actress Ntando Duma is being sued by the celebrity photography agency Pixel Kollective after she allegedly failed to credit the agency when using their work as part of a social media campaign.

According to the lawsuit, the two sides had previously struck a deal where she was free to use the images, but only with attribution and credit. They claimed that she ignored that agreement and used the images as part of a social media campaign with local snack manufacturer Simba.

The lawsuit is seeking R200,000 ($13,027) in damages from Duma. The images involved have already been deleted from her accounts. Simba, for their part, has said that the dispute does not involve them.

3: Australian Government Buys Copyright to Aboriginal Flag in $20m Deal

Finally today, Josh Butler at The Guardian reports that the Australian government has paid $20 million ($14.2 million USD) to purchase the copyright of the Aboriginal flag. As a result, the flag can be reproduced on apparel and merchandise and a lengthy battle over the flag’s copyright is brought to an end.

The flag was designed in 1971 by artist Harold Thomas. For most of the flag’s history, this had not been an issue but, in 2018, he signed exclsuive rights for the flag’s use on clothing to WAM Clothing. They then began to target others that used the flag, including professional sports groups and even Aboriginal nonprofits.

The new agreement puts an end to that. It also secures a payment Thomas directly for the rights. It further establishes a $100,000 scholarship in Thomas’ name. As a result of this agreement, it will be managed similarly to the country’s national flag, which is free to use but “must be presented in a respectful and dignified way.”

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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