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First off today, in a move that surprised many in New Zealand, the country’s Parliament rushed through a “three strikes” bill last night, opening the door for alleged file sharers to be disconnected from the Web for a period of up to 6 months. The bill, which is expected to get final approval today, was pushed through very quickly despite not having any debate since November. The bill makes the country’s Copyright Tribunal in charge of ruling on cases of alleged infringement and empowers them to hand down fines up to $15,000 and disconnect repeat file sharers entirely. An earlier version of the bill prompted the “blackout” protests where users changed their social media icons to black. Many are already calling for a repeat of those protests.
Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist issued a YouTube apology to David Byrne, the singer of The Talking Heads, for using his song “Road to Nowhere” in a campaign advertisement in his 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Byrner had sued Crist over the use of the song and the YouTube apology was posted as part of a settlement between the two. However, the rest of the settlement terms are undisclosed.
Finally today, artists in the country of Tanzania, a country in the southeast of Africa, are demanding their government provide stronger copyright protections, including imposing stiffer fines for infringement and enforcing existing laws. This came as artists called for the immediate passage of the Music Copyright and Neighbouring Right Act, which adds additional copyright protections but, according to many, doesn’t go far enough.
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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