3 Count: Surf’s Down

3 Count: Surf's Down Image

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1: SurfTheChannel Owner Jailed for Copyright Infringement

First off today, Sarah Jacobsson Purewal of PCWorld reports that, in the UK, Anton Vickerman, the former owner of the now-shuttered video streaming site SurfTheChannel has been sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud. The case is unusual because Vickerman’s prosecution came was directed by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a private organization funded by the MPAA. FACT performed a sting operation on Vickerman and his wife, the latter being acquitted, but authorities in the UK declined to take the case. They instead allowed a private prosecution by FACT, which ultimately resulted in Vickerman’s conviction and now sentencing. Vickerman is now the first UK citizen to be jailed for operating a site that linked to pirated material.

2: Megaupload case: New Zealand court wants FBI evidence

Next up today, the BBC is reporting that a New Zealand judicial review of the Megaupload case has found that the U.S. government needs to turn over evidence to Dotcom and his attorneys so they can defend themselves at a March extradition hearing. Kim Dotcom, along with several of his employees, were arrested in January in New Zealand on allegations that their Megaupload service infringed copyrightand was involved in other crimes. The arrests and seizures, which also closed the site, have been plagued with legal troubles including rulings that the warrants used in the raid were invalid and allegations that the U.S. was withholding evidence even as it seeks to extradite Dotcom. The judge is requiring that the U.S. government turn over evidence related to allegations of willful copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. Though not all of the evidence Megaupload had asked for, it is widely viewed as a victory for Dotcom and his lawyers.

3: Silversun Pickups ask Romney campaign to stop using ‘Panic Switch’

Finally today, Randy Lewis at the LA Times reports that the band Silversun Pickups has asked the Mitt Romney campaign to stop using their song “Panic Switch” at campaign events. The band’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the campaign earlier this week after it was played at an event. A representative from Romney’s campaign said that it was “inadvertently played” during the set up for an event before Gov. Romney arrived. Though they believe that the song is covered under the campaign’s blanket license, they will not play it again.


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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