3 Count: High Voltage

3 Count: High Voltage Image

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1: Illegal Downloaders in Federal Court’s Crosshairs

First off today, Gillian Saw at the Vancouver Sun reports that Voltage Pictures, LLC the company behind the film “The Hurt Locker” has won a court battle in Canada as the ISP TelSavvy will have to turn over the names and identities of some 2,000 users that are accused of having illegally shared movies owned by Voltage.

Voltage Pictures is often referred to as a “copyright troll”, meaning that they file large lawsuits against unknown defendants in hopes of compelling ISPs to turn over the identities. They then use this information to try and obtain settlements with the suspected infringers.

Under recent legislation in Canada, rightsholders can send notices to ISPs that are then forwarded on to users. However, those notices are often ignored since no personal information is shared with the rightsholder. However, with the new ruling, those who are found liable for infringement could face statutory damages as high as $5,000.

2: BET Can’t Shoot Down ‘American Gangster’ Lawsuit

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Charles “Chaz” Williams has managed to survive an early challenge to his lawsuit against BET, A&E, Netflix, Apple and others over an episode of American Gangster that was based on his life and, according to Williams, on a treatment he wrote.

Williams, a notorious bank robber in the 70s that went on to found Black Hand Entertainment, represented himself in the case saying that the episode based on his life used elements from a treatment he wrote about his story that he registered with the Copyright Office and the Writers Guild of America.

The defendants in the suit filed a motion to dismiss saying that the elements in the episode were historical and that historical facts are not copyrightable. However, the judge ruled that, while the defendants were correct, Williams’ owns his expression of his history, which may have been used. However, the judge noted that Williams has a many challenges ahead to win the lawsuit.

3: Twitter Blocks Kickass.To Links, Says They’re Unsafe

Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, if you’ve tried to click a link to Kickass Torrents, a popular BitTorrent tracker site, on Twitter, you were likely blocked.

The site recently started blocking all clicks on links that go to Kickass Torrents claiming that the site is unsafe. Twitter often blocks sites that it believes are engaged in phishing attacks or are distributing malware. It also uses Google’s diagnostic report to determine if some sites are safe or not, though Google does not currently list Kickass Torrents as being unsafe.

Twitter has not responded to why it is flagging Kickass Torrent links as being unsafe but no other major BitTorrent sites are being blocked by Twitter at this time.


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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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