3 Count: Uncontrolled Lending

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1: Internet Archive Faces Skeptical Judge in Publishers’ Copyright Lawsuit

First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that the Internet Archive had a day in court yesterday as it defended itself from a group of major book publishers and both sides seek a judgment in their favor ahead of a potential trial.

The case came about during the early days of the pandemic, when the Internet Archive announced the “National Emergency Library” initiative. In doing that, they removed all lending restrictions for e-books, including lending out more digital copies than they had physical copies. Normally, the Internet Archive engages in what it calls “controlled digital lending”, which is where it loans out one digital copy for each physical copy it holds.

The publishers are challenging both the National Emergency Library initiative and the broader concept of controlled digital lending, saying that it requires the production of a new digital copy. Both sides are asking the judge to rule in their favor and avoid a trial. However, the judge seemed very skeptical of the Internet Archive, saying that they were avoiding the question that’s at the heart of the case, namely the reproduction of the books.

2: Major Labels Want ISP to Pay Additional $12 Million in Piracy Liability Case

Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that a group of major record labels are seeking another $12 from an ISP over allegations that the service did not do enough to prevent piracy on its network.

The case pits Astound-owned ISP Grande Communications against the major record labels. According to the labels, Grande failed to take preventative measures to reduce piracy on its network, including failing to disconnect repeat infringers and ignoring notices of infringement. The labels previously won a $47 million jury award against Grande, though the case has continued through appeals.

Those appeals are why the labels are now asking for an additional $12. 7 million in attorney fees, interest and other costs. However, Grande has hit back at that request, saying that the amount already awarded, “far exceeds any reasonable estimation of actual harm” and is already a windfall for the major labels.

3: The Weeknd settles copyright case over Call Out My Name

Finally today, Mark Savage at the BBC reports that The Weeknd has settled an ongoing case over his 2018 Call Out My Name.

The lawsuit was filed by musicians Suniel Fox and Henry Strange, who alleged that The Weeknd copied an earlier track of theirs named Vibeking. The musicians alleged that The Weeknd copied various elements from the song after he was given access to it through a collaborator. According to the plaintiffs, The Weeknd actually responded directly to Vibeking, saying the track was “fire.”

The Weeknd has long denied the claims of infringement, but both sides have asked the case to be dismissed, citing a pending settlement. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

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