3 Count: Past Avatars

3 Count: Past Avatars Image

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1: Columbian Court Strikes Down Unconstitutional Copyright Law

First off today, Ben Jones at Torrentfreak writes that Colombia’s highest court has ruled a new copyright law unconstitutional. The reasons for the ruling are unclear as the full ruling hasn’t been released, but it appears to be in large part because the law was passed using a process for ratifying international treaties and not the process for passing a new internal copyright law.

The law was controversial from the outset but it aimed to ratify a free trade agreement signed between the US and Colombia. However, the law went beyond the requirements of the treaty, including the criminalization of DRM circumvention.

It is widely anticipated that Colombia will try again to pass the law or one like it but with modifications that will earn the approval of the court.

2: James Cameron Ordered to Turn Over ‘Avatar’ Scripts in Copyright Battle

Next up today, MSN reports that James Cameron, the writer and director of the 2009 movie Avatar has been ordered to turn over drafts of the script in an ongoing copyright dispute over the film.

Eric Ryder, who used to work for Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment Inc., sued Cameron in 2011 claiming that Avatar was based on a script he wrote for a film named K.R.Z. 20068. Ryder is seeking a portion of the movie’s profits.

Similar lawsuits against Cameron from others have died out but this one made it to a discovery hearing that saw the judge grant Ryder access to draft screenplays for Avatar and backup disks from computers used by the director. The judge denied Ryder’s request to look at scripts for the planned Avatar sequels.

3: Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday

Finally today, Michael Gowan at Live Science writes that, if you want to jailbreak your phone in the U.S., you probably should get moving. Phones purchased after tomorrow, January 26, will no longer be eligible for jailbreaking without the permission of the carrier.

In October, the Librarian of Congress ruled on DMCA exemptions, which allow people, in narrow cases, to circumvent DRM for various purposes. The Librarian ruled that it would remain legal to jailbreak previously purchased phones but would be illegal on new ones without carrier permission. The law provided a 90-day grace period to buy phones for jailbreaking, a window that ends tomorrow.

DMCA circumvention rulemaking takes place every three years and are only good until the next round takes place. In the 2012 exemption rulings, the Librarian continued most exemptions but scaled back the legality of phone jailbreaking and refused to extend it to tablets, game consoles and other electronic devices.


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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