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First off today, Thomas Claburn at The Register reports that a leaked Russian document indicates that the country may be considering abolishing criminal and administrative liability for violating software licenses, making software piracy in the country fundamentally legal.
The country has been hit by a wave of economic sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago. Those sanctions have made it difficult, if not impossible, to access many goods and services from outside the country.
However, this may not represent a huge change in the country. According to the Business Software Alliance, the rate of pirated software in the country is 62 percent. While that’s down from 91 percent in 1996, it does mean nearly two-thirds of the business software in the country is already unlicensed.
Next up today, Diana Kwon at Nature reports that a Munich court has ruled that ResearchGate should be barred from hosting papers uploaded to it and that the site is responsible for copyright-infringing content uploaded on its platform.
ResearchGate is a social network targeted at researchers and those in the scientific publishing field. However, one of the common uses of it is for researchers to publish copies of papers that they have completed. The issue is that many of those papers have been published in various academic journals, which own the rights to them.
As a result, several academic publishers targeted ResearchGate and asked the court to hold the company liable for some 50 allegedly infringing articles. However, the court issued something of a split verdict, stopping short of being a full blocking order but holding the site reliable for its practices. Both sides have said they intend to appeal.
Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak reports that the hosting provider Uberspace has asked a German court to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against them over their customer, YouTube-dl.
YouTube-dl is an open-source tool that enables sites to download YouTube videos and is commonly used by stream ripping sites to bypass YouTube’s copy protection. The record labels initially tried to get GitHub, to remove the project from its servers, but that failed, so they moved on to targeting the project’s host, Uberspace.
The RIAA sued Uberspace in Germany and now the hosting provider has responded saying that the tool has a number of legal uses and further claims that the tool doesn’t circumvent any copyright protections as YouTube does not encrypt the video content it streams.