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First off today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) has taken down hundreds of streaming websites by pressuring the provider of their script to close its doors.
FACT contacted the the service TVstreamScript, a service that enables others to set up sites that stream TV shows, and got them to turn over their domains. This caused hundreds of TV streaming sites to break instantly, displaying “Invalid license key” errors. Some of the sites involved have managed to get back up and running while others are trying to do so.
According to FACT, they’ve had more luck getting such sites to voluntarily turn over their domains after the conviction and four-year sentence of the owner of SurfTheChannel, a separate TV streaming site.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the U.S. government will not have to hand over more documents related to its role in bring about the Copyright Alert System (CAS).
The CAS is a cooperative effort between ISPs and copyright holders to warn, educate and punish suspected infringers. However, the U.S. government played a role in brokering the arrangement though exactly what that role was is unclear. A researcher with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought to find out by using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to compel the White House to turn over emails related to the process.
Though the government turned over some documents, it declined to complete the full request, prompting the ACLU to sue. However, a judge has ruled that the government was right in denying the request and saying that the government deserves some leeway when asked to turn over documents related to formulating policy.
Finally today, Erin Geiger Smith at Reuters reports that a Miami judge is allowing a lawsuit filed by the Venezuelan television company LaTele against U.S.-based Telemundo to move forward.
LaTele accused Telemundo of infringing a telenovela they produced in 1989 entitled “Maria Maria” in a 2008 telenovela entitled “La Rastro”. According to LaTele, both programs feature a woman who is stricken with amnesia and contain many other similarities in plot. Telemundo, however, claimed that the similarities were limited only to ideas common in such shows and were not infringing.
However, the judge disagreed with Telemundo, saying that the issue is one for a trial. The judge noted several key similarities between the shows and also explained that the two series share a writer. Though the ruling doesn’t guarantee LaTele a victory, it does mean that Telemundo will not end the case quickly.
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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