3 Count: Copyright Gamble

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1: Legal Experts Say Aristocrat Copyright Lawsuit Won’t Be Easy to Win

First off today, Richard Velotta at the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that slot machine maker Aristocrat Technologies has filed a lawsuit against a competitor, Light & Wonder, for alleged copyright infringement.

According to the lawsuit, Light & Wonder created “knockoff” versions of Aristocrat’s Dragon Link and Lightning Link games. They further allege that two employees of Light & Wonder worked for Aristocrat previously, and one of them was caught attempting to download relevant files before leaving the company.

However, legal experts doubt the lawsuit’s future even with those allegations. They note that similar elements of the game, such as color schemes and images of dragons, are not protectable under copyright. However, the issue of the employees and allegedly stolen code may bolster Aristocrat’s chances.

2: Senate Panel to Begin Hearings on Anti-Online Piracy Bills Next Week

Next up today, GMA News reports that, in the Philippines, the Senate is beginning hearings on new anti-piracy bills.

The bills aim to strengthen the nation’s copyright laws. The main highlight is that they would allow the country’s Intellectual Property Office to order the blocking of websites that host pirated content.

The House passed the measures last year, but they have seen slow progress in the Senate. It took over a year to get subcommittee hearings. This prompted many rightsholders to complain about the lack of action on reducing piracy.

3: Reddit Reports Surge in Copyright-Related User Bans

Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that the number of Reddit users banned for repeated copyright violations has skyrocketed, even as the total number of copyright infringement notices dropped.

According to their transparency report, they saw a 258% rise in the number of users banned in the second half of 2023. However, at the same time, the number of items that were flagged dropped by 18% compared to the first half of the year.

Reddit attributes this to a combination of improved detection methods and an increase in operational capacity. Reddit removed over 541,000 items, representing an action rate of 69%. However, the most common reason a notice didn’t receive action was because the content had already been removed, likely for other reasons.

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