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First off today we may have a shocking turn of events in the Viacom v. YouTube case, which saw Viacom suing YouTube for $1 billion claiming the site infringed on their copyright. Sources close to the case are claiming that Viacom’s attorneys have found, as part of the ongoing discovery process, emails from YouTube employees that indicates they were aware of infringing material and did nothing to act and also that, in some cases, they may have uploaded the content themselves.
This could, if true, punch large holes in YouTube’s DMCA safe harbor protections that could open it up to being liable for at least some of the infringement that has taken place on its service. Though such cases likely only represent a small amount of the actual infringement that has taken place, it could still amount to a major and expensive defeat for the site.
Up until recently, things looked very good for YouTube as a similar case involving Veoh had turned out in favor of Veoh, finding that the smaller video sharing service qualified for safe harbor protection. However, it appears that the YouTube case may turn out very differently.
Next up today, the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN may have scored a minor win against The Pirate Bay, getting the site temporarily taken offline. This came after BREIN forced NForce, which in turn is a client of the famous former-bittorrent host LeaseWeb, to disable access to the site.
Though neither NForce nor LeaseWeb were hosting the site, which is currently located in Ukraine, traffic to the site was routed through NForce. The Pirate Bay admins have said that this is not a permanent outage and that they expect to be available tomorrow with four different transits. They also blamed at least some of the issue on their new host, which seems to be having problems as well.
Still, it appears to be a small, if short-lived, victory for BREIN in its fight against The Pirate Bay.
Finally today, we have the conclusion to one of the stranger issues in the Joel Tenenbuam case, the right to stream it via the Internet. Tenenbaum, who was sued by the RIAA for file sharingm had petitioned the court to be allowed to stream the trial over the Web.
The judge denied his request and his attorneys appealed twice, losing in the Appellate court and now having the Supreme Court decide not to take the case. Part of the reason may be that the case went on without a ruling (unstreamed) and resulted in a loss for Tenenbuam where he was found liable for damages totaling $625,000.
Most legal scholars don’t find this (non)decision very shocking, especially considering the Supreme Court does not allow cameras in its own court. This seems to put at least this issue of the case to bed, though many more remain.
That’s it for the three count today. We will 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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