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.
As the Tenenbaum trial draws closer, we are seeing both sides jockeying to include or exclude certain items of evidence or arguments about the case. Likely the most important is the RIAA’s filing for a summary judgement on Tenenbaum’s fair use defense, asking the judge to rule that his file sharing was not a fair use and barring defense attorneys from raising the issue in trial.
The RIAA isn’t alone in thinking that file sharing is not a fair use. Many of Tenenbaum’s own witnesses feel the same way and, due to his attorney, Charles Nesson, posting all of the correspondence on his site, they are well aware of this.
Nesson has until this Friday to respond and almost certainly will do so, but it seems at least fairly likely that the RIAA will win on this point.
Next up today, we now have our first look at New Zealand’s new substitute for their controversial Section 92a law, which would have called for the disconnection of file sharers and was scuttled after massive protests.
The new law does have disconnections as an option and maintains a “three strikes” regime of two warning letters followed by an escalated action, but the latter part is what is new. Rather than a disconnection being immediate, copyright holders have to take their claim to a tribunal that weighs the evidence and can levy a wide variety of punishments including fines, suspensions and disconnections.
The hope is that the new law will be more palatable than the old law but that doesn’t seem wholly likely as at least one of the organizations behind the first round of protests have promised to launch a new one if disconnections are on the table again.
Now all we can do is wait and see what the backlash is, how strong it is and if it is enough to derail this attempt as well.
Finally today, the blogger who was convicted of leaking the most recent Guns ‘n’ Roses album, Kevin Cogill, has been sentenced to one year of probation, including two months of home confinement. His computers will be subject to government scrutiny and he will be forced to record a public service announcement for the RIAA.
Prosecutors had asked for a harsher sentence but the judge decided that being too harsh would defeat the purpose of educating users and would create a backlash. Cagill, for his part, apologized for his actions and said he never intended to hurt the artists involved.
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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