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First off today, Alyson Palmer at The Daily Report writes that the Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously ruled to toss aside a lower court’s ruling that ordered a forum operator to stay away from a poet he was critical of and delete hundreds of posts from his website that was about her.
The issue centered around poet Linda Ellis, who penned the poem The Dash, which has been widely shared online. Ellis has become known for her copyright enforcement, which involves sending emails and demands for payment to sites that post it. Matthew Chan, on the other hand, runs the site Extortion Letter Info, which offers advice and support for those facing such copyright claims. Chan posted a great deal about Ellis and other members of the forum did the same.
Ellis went to court claiming that the posts amounted to stalking, noting that Chan had warned of “personal consequences” and that he said he had been near her home at one point. The lower court agreed and issued an injunction against Chan but the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the speech wasn’t stalking because it was not directed at Ellis and was open content for the world. Also, the court noted many of the most worrisome posts, including an image of Ellis’ house, were posted by other forum members.
Next up today, Josh Taylor at ZDNet reports that a group of New Zealand media companies have sent letters to local ISPs demanding that they stop providing their “Global Mode” service, which makes it easy for their subscribers to circumvent geoblocking restrictions in other countries.
Many ISPs in the country offer the service or a similar one, which is a VPN service that makes their customers appear to be from other countries so they can access local services such as Netflix and Hulu. However, media companies in the country are saying that this is unfair to them because they pay a great deal of money for licensing rights to content within the country and those rights are meaningless if ISPs are giving users free access to it elsewhere.
The media companies also point out that no ISPs in neighboring Australia offer this feature. Netflix, for its part, has said it is working on making its library more universal so the motivation for others to use VPNs to access it will be reduced.
Finally today, Megan Geuss at Ars Technica reports that photo sharing site Flickr has added the ability for users to tag photos as public domain or license them under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, effectively releasing them from copyright protection.
The move comes after the company SpaceX sought to license its photos as public domain but was forced to use a normal Creative Commons License due to limitations of Flickr. Now the company has moved all of its images to the public domain.
Flickr had said they held off on offering such license due to legal complexities. Where one can retract a Creative Commons License (though they can’t revoke it to those already using it), public domain and CC0 dedications are permanent and wanted to ensure it communicated as such effectively to its users.
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.