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First off today, CTVNews reports that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on several copyright-related cases and all of them were defeats for copyright holders seeking additional royalties. The court ruled against SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, saying that royalties were not owed by ISPs when their customers download music, by Apple and other music sellers when users listen to previews of tracks or by video game makers when games were downloaded rather than physically purchased. The court also ruled that education institutions did not have to pay licensing fees for certain photocopying that fell within “fair dealing” exemptions. The final case found that movie theaters should not be charged for playing music in a film’s soundtrack saying that music is meant to be part of the movie.
Next up today, Devin Coldewey at MSNBC reports that, while the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills may be dead after the massive protests in January, parts of them seem to live on. In particular a new bill proposed by Rep. Lamar Smith, one of the authors of SOPA in the House, would post “intellectual property attachés” all over the world in U.S. embassies. They would be there to represent U.S. interested regarding intellectual property in other nations. While such attachés exist already, they are mostly in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this bill would change their hierarchy and move them into embassies. Critics of the bill say that it is not necessary as many such positions already exist and they are worried that the language from the bill was largely lifted directly from SOPA. However, early indications are that the bill is on the fast track to being passed.
Finally today, Grant Gross at PCWorld reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized 70 more domains, bringing its total in the last two years to 839. The sites targeted in this seizure were responsible for selling a variety of fake goods including jewelry, bay carriers, sports jerseys and, most relevant to copyright, software and workout videos. According to ICE all of the sites were all marketed and presented as legitimate sites, some even using SSL to further the illusion. Those who lost their domain in the raid can now file a petition to contest the seizure though, if no claim is filed, the domains will become property of the U.S. government.
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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