3 Count: Mega Prison Sentence

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1: Twitter Hit With $250M Lawsuit From Music Publishers Over “Massive Copyright Infringement” Claim

First off today, Winston Cho at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has filed a lawsuit against Twitter seeking some $250 million in damages over allegations that the site knowingly hosts infringing content and has turned down offers to acquire a license.

The NMPA, which represents music publishers and songwriters, claims that they have sent notices of hundreds of thousands of infringing tweets, with Twitter either severely delaying removal of them or not taking any action at all. They claim that this means Twitter no longer qualifies for safe harbor protections, meaning they are liable even though users uploaded the songs in question.

As evidence for this policy, the NMPA highlighted tweets made by Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk. They claim that the tweets show a flagrant disregard for the notice and takedown process, which is required to maintain safe harbor.

2: Bipartisan US Bill Would End Section 230 Immunity for Generative AI

Next up today, Reuters reports that a new bipartisan bill would enable lawsuits against artificial intelligence companies if they distribute harmful content, including defamatory works.

The bill deals with a law named Section 230, which provides blanket protection for online service providers that host content uploaded by third parties. Though there are carve outs for copyright and human trafficking, most areas of law do not treat the host of the content as the publisher of it, eliminating most legal liability.

However, this bill, which was proposed by Senators Josh Hawley and Richard Blumenthal, a Republican and a Democrat respectively, would strip AI companies of those protections and make them liable when their services are used for things such as deepfake images of people or other potentially defamatory content.

3: 2 men who helped run popular pirating website Megaupload sentenced to prison in New Zealand

Finally today, Nick Perry at the Associated Press reports that, in New Zealand, two men have been sentenced to more than 30 months in prison over their role in operating the former file sharing website Megaupload.

The two men, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, were arrested some 11 years ago as part of the shutdown of Megaupload. Since then, they have been fighting extradition to the United States. However, last year they reached a deal with prosecutors from both countries to plead guilty to criminal copyright infringement by agreeing to testify against others involved in the site, including its founder, Kim Dotcom.

Dotcom is continuing his fight against extradition. However, these two men have been sentenced already, though both of their sentences are being delayed on humanitarian grounds. Ortman was sentenced to 31 months in prison, while van der Kolk was sentenced to 30. They both faced up to ten years in prison, but argued for house arrest instead of prison time.

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