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First off today, Claire Reilly at CNet reports that, even as Netflix is preparing to launch an Australian version of its service, rightsholders are pressuring the company to block VPN access to the United States version so that users from outside the country can not access it.
Currently, one quarter of all Australian users with paid-content subscriptions are using Netflix, which is not available in the country. They do so using virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow them to appear as if they are coming from the United States.
Australia is said to be preparing to block VPN users after the launch of its Australian version, which expected shortly. However, distributors are pressuring Netflix to do so more quickly so that users can not access Netflix illegally. Also pressuring Netflix is Quickflix, an Australian competitor that accuses Netflix of breaching the rights of content creators by knowingly allowing VPN access to their service.
Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that CEG TEK, a company that is representing Millennium Films, is targeting users who have illegally shared copies of The Expendables 3, which was leaked online about three weeks before opening weekend.
Millennium Films produced the movie, which suffered from poor box office returns, blamed in part on the leak. They are now following a similar pattern to Voltage Pictures and other independent studios by filing “John Doe” lawsuits against the suspected infringers, identified only by their IP addresses, and then asking for subpoenas to compel ISPs to identify who the file sharers are. Those that are successfully identified typically receive settlement letters that demand between $1,500 and $2,500 in to avoid a potentially expensive lawsuit.
CEG TEK did confirm the action but it unclear how many file sharers are being targeted or what the proposed terms of settlement will be.
Finally today, Rachel Weber at Gamesindustry.biz reports that game maker King, best known for Candy Crush Saga, has won its lawsuit against 6waves, a competing developer that they had sued for copyright Infringement.
According to the lawsuit, two of 6waves’ games, Farm Epic and Treasure Epic, were infringements of similar King titles. King filed suit in August and recently announced that the two sides have reached a settlement that will see those two titles shutter as well as 6waves pay an undisclosed amount to King.
In a statement, 6waves continues to deny any infringement, saying that the game play elements at question were not unique to King nor were they copyrightable. However, this isn’t the first time that 6waves has had to settle such a lawsuit, in October 2012 it reached a similar deal with another developer, Spry Fox, over the game Yeti Town.
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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