3 Count: Llama Drama

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1: ISP Suggests That Record Labels Can Sue Torrent Client Developers

First off today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that the internet service provider Grande Communications has filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for a jury verdict against them to be overturned on the grounds they are protected from liability caused by the actions of their users.

The lawsuit was originally filed by major music labels, who, in late 2022, won a jury verdict in their favor. According to the labels, Grande was not taking strong enough action against copyright infringing users, in particular, not terminating the accounts of repeat infringers. At the lower court, the jury awarded the labels some $47 million in damages.

However, Grande has appealed and, in a recent brief, is arguing that they should not be held liable on the grounds they were not the infringers and the music companies can file lawsuits against either the infringers directly or against thoise involved in either developing file sharing software or the sites that host the content. Grande cites a recent Supreme Court ruling that found a service provider could not be held liable for subscriber-posted terrorist content, saying the logic should be applied to copyright.

2: US Copyright Office Launches Review of the MLC and DLC’s Designations

Next up today, Mandy Dalugdug at Music Business Worldwide reports that the US Copyright Office, USCO, has begun their first review of the Music Licensing Collective (MLC) and Digital License Coordinator (DLC) licensing entities.

The entities were created in 2018 as part of the Music Modernization Act. The MLC handles royalty payments to songwriters and publishers over the use of their work by digital streaming services and the DLC deals with sound recordings covered under the act’s compulsory license.

As part of the act, the USCO was directed to regularly review the two entities, a process that began this month with a publication in the Federal Register. Both the MLC and DLC can submit statements supporting their designation by April 1 and the public has until May 29 to file their comments, with replies to those comments due by July 28.

3: Meta Used Copyright to Protect its AI Model, But Argues Against the Law for Everyone Else

Finally today, Kali Hays at Business Insider reports that Meta, the owners of Facebook and Instagram, previously filed a takedown notice with GitHub demanding the removal of content connected with their Llama generative AI system.

In early 2023, an early version of Llama leaked online and some of the specifications were uploaded to the code-sharing website GitHub. However, that effort was met by a copyright notice filed by Meta, claiming that the code was infringing. This caused many, including Frankin Graves at IP Watchdog, to note the irony of Meta using countless copyright-protected works without permission and then using copyright to protect the resulting model.

The content was briefly removed from GitHub but the impacted user filed a counternotice, saying that the content at issue did not qualify for copyright protection. The content was restored by GitHub and not further legal action appears to have been taken by Meta at this time. Since then, Meta has largely released its model under an open source license that permits broader use.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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