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First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that Black Entertainment Television (BET) will have to face a copyright infringement lawsuit by Walkie Check Productions over BET’s Instagram Live show House Party.
According to the lawsuit, Walkie Check CEO Joshua Lebowitz pitched the idea for House Party back in 2015. However, after talks to produce the show ended, BET went forward with the idea, BET launched a similar show in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
This prompted Walkie Check to sue for breach of an implied contract, unjust enrichment and copyright infringement. The judge in the case has dismissed the other allegations, but said there is not enough evidence at this time to make a determination about copyright infringement. As such, that portion of the case moves forward.
Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that, in the Czech Republic, the nation’s Supreme Court has ordered the local file sharing platform Ulož.to block piracy-related search terms in addition to removing allegedly infringing material.
The site, which is one of the top 40 in the country, has long removed infringing works after being notified. However, rightsholders in the country felt that wasn’t enough and requested that the courts require it to block piracy-related search terms.
A lower court agreed with the rightsholders, but Ulož.to continued to appeal the verdict, eventually landing at the country’s Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has affirmed the lower court decision, leaving the filters intact. However, the court did reject more far-reaching anti-piracy measures and the argument that Ulož.to is responsible for its users’ piracy.
Finally today, a press release from the United States Department of Justice says that they have seized six websites as part of their ongoing efforts to fight copyright infringement.
The six domains involved were all registered through U.S.-based companies, and the seizure was done in conjunction Brazilian law enforcement. According to the Department of Justice, all the domains involved were primarily for the purpose of sharing copyright-infringing content, prompting the action.
Visitors to these websites will now get a message from the Department of Justice indicating that the sites have been seized, and users will then be redirected to addition information.