3 Count: Aereo’s Ending

3 Count: Aereo's Ending Image

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1: RIAA, back on anti-piracy warpath, sues song-linking site MP3skull

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the major record labels have filed a lawsuit against the site MP3Skull over copyright infringement, alleging that the site is directing its users to clearly infringing files.

MP3Skull does not host any infringing material but, instead, helps users find infringing files by providing a search engine that points to content on third party sites. According to the lawsuit, MP3Skull was not only aware that the files it was pointing to were infringing but actively tried to help visitors locate files that they had been ordered in other countries to remove.

The labels do not know for certain who the operators of the site is. They filed suit in Florida, where the site is hosted, but suspect that the individuals behind it are located in Russia. They base this on times where the domain information was mistakenly made public, identifying the owner as Monica Vasilenko. She is sued along with 10 “John Doe” defendants. In addition to damages, they are also seeking seizure of the site’s domains and closure of its hosting accounts.

2: Goebbels’ Estate Sues Random House for Diary Royalties

Next up today, the BBC is reporting that the estate of Joseph Goebbels has filed a lawsuit against Random House over a biography of Goebbels that quoted heavily from a diary written by him that the estate still controls.

Goebbels was the propaganda chief for Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany. Random House published a biography of Goebbels in Germany, which is due to come out in the U.S. in May, but did not pay a fee for quotes and snippets used from Goebbels’ diary. According to the estate, Random House had made an offer to pay such a fee but changed its mind, feeling it was unethical to pay the estate of a Nozi war criminal.

Goebbels died at the end of World War 2 in 1945, meaning that his diary’s, much like Hitler’s work, is soon to have its copyright expire and be placed in the public domain.

3: Aereo Settles Broadcasters’ Copyright Claims for $950,000

Finally today, this is how it ends. Not with a bang, but a two-paragraph blurb as Erik Larson at Bloomberg Business reports that Aereo has settled its long-running dispute with the TV for $950,000, an amount that leaves it with some cash on hand to pay other creditors as it finishes going through the bankruptcy process.

Aereo was a TV streaming service that used a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture over-the-air broadcast television and both provide cloud DVR services and live streams of the channels. Broadcasters sued Aereo in multiple jurisdictions but Aereo won a series of key victories in lower courts. However, when the matter reached the Supreme Court, the highest court ruled in favor of the broadcasters, prompting Aereo to close down and eventually go into bankruptcy.

Aereo recently sold off its assets in a bankruptcy sale that netted less than $2 million. Of that amount, about half is going to go to settle the lawsuit and the other half will go to pay other creditors of the company. The deal still awaits bankruptcy court approval. A moment of silence for the ending of the case.


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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