3 Count: Italian Shutdown

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1: Huge Pirate IPTV Crackdown Hits Network Supplying 500,000 Users

First off today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that Italian authorities have shuttered a suspected pirate network that it accuses of supplying over 500,000 users with access to infringing content.

The shutdown is part of Italy’s ongoing “Operation: The Net”, which targets various piracy and IPTV services. According to the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office, the latest shutdown targeted a network serving half a million customers and resulted in searches of homes of 20 suspects.

In addition to the impressive scope of the shutdown, Italian authorities also bast about identifying the administrator of Cybergroup, a service known for facilitating streaming of pirate content. This means that the shutdown could have knock on impacts that affect many other similar services.

Next up today, Debarshi Dasgupta at The Straits Times reports that Sci-Hub is facing a new challenge in India as academic publishers seek to have the site blocked in the country. However, it also represents the first time that the site’s operator, Alexandra Elbakyan, has been defended in court.

Sci-Hub is a site that provides access to academic journals and articles for free. This has locked it in an ongoing battle against various academic publishers, who have recently taken aim against the site in India. There, they aim to have the site blocked by various local ISPs, as per local law.

However, the case also represents the first time Elbakyan has been defended in court. Elbakyan, who is from Kazakhstan, is not actually part of the defense. Instead, she is being represented by a team of Indian lawyers working pro bono. The case is widely expected to test India’s more liberal fair dealing copyright exemptions against Sci-Hub’s practices.

Finally today, Daniel R. Mello and Margaret A. Esquenet at National Law Review reports that the photographer behind the iconic Pulp Fiction poster has had his case tossed after filing the lawsuit too late.

The lawsuit was filed by Firooz Zahedi, who took the photo of Uma Thurmond that would go on to be used in the Pulp Fiction poster. He claimed that he only ever gave the rights to the image to be used on the poster, but Miramax went on to use the image in a variety of other merchandise without his permission or granting him any royalties.

However, Miramax claimed that he reasonably should have been aware of the alleged dispute by at least 2015. Since the statute of limitations on copyright infringement is just three years, he had until 2018 to file a lawsuit and chose not to. The court has agreed and dismiss the case.

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