3 Count: Apple’s Core

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Apple is sued after pressuring open-source iTunes project

First off today, Apple is being sued by both the EFF and attorneys representing OdioWorks, the company that runs Bluwiki over some alleged threats to the site. Bluwiki is a site that hosts many different open source projects, including iPodhash, which was discussing ways to make iPods and iPhones compatible with other applications, such as Songbird.

Apple pushed OdioWorks to remove pages that offered details on reverse-engineering iTunes, the Apple-approved player for those devices, including how to circumvent the DRM technology that ties iTunes tracks to the player. According to Apple, this was a violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules.

This is the first time, according to the EFF, where a company has sought DMCA protection over merely talking about reverse engineering-not actually performing any circumvention.

2: German Authors Outraged at Google Book Search

German authors are upset over the proposed Google Book Search settlement, which allows Google to continue scanning and indexing out-of-print but copyrighted books, saying that the scanning is not in their interest and that the 60 dollars offered per book is far too low.

According to the article, 1,300 authors have filed a petition with German President Horst Köhler, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of Germany’s 16 federal states claiming that Google is infringing their copyright without any punishment and seeking the help of the government in taking any and all steps to rectify this issue.

“As I see it, the fact that an American district court has decided what happens with German books is a scandal and it just shows that politicians have fallen asleep on this matter,” said University of Heidelberg professor Ronald Reuss, who is also one of the signatories of the petition.

There is no word as to what Germany plans to do regarding this settlement.

3: Michelle Obama’s fashion designers want tougher laws to battle copycats

Finally today, though the first lady may be a boon to the fashion industry, namely having a prestigious woman other than a movie star wearing high-fashion items, she has also inspired copycats and this has her fashion designers miffed and seeking greater protections under the law.

Under current law, the name and brand of a dress or other fashion item is protected under trademark law but the actual design is not. This gives fashion designers very little recourse when it comes to fighting knock offs that do not use the same brand name, even if they use a similar one.

Fashion designers have been lobbying for this kind of change for quite some time though there is some belief that, with the new administration, there may be a chance of getting it passed.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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