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First off today, Sami Khan at the International Business Times reports that 123Movies, recently described as the most popular pirate site on the planet, has announced plans to close down at the end of the week.
The site is widely considered to be the most popular illegal movie/tv streaming website. It was described by an MPAA executive as the most popular illegal site in the world and has an estimated 98 million visitors per month. However, in about four days, it will be no more, at least according to an announcement and countdown clock on the site itself.
The site has faced closures in the past, having moved to new domains multiple times. However, this time they say they are closing it for good and, in an uncharacteristic move, are encouraging their visitors to support creators by paying for their content rather than pirating it.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the operator of the famous fan subtitle site Undertexter.se has suffered yet another legal setback as Swedish appeals court has ruled against him and upheld a lower court conviction.
Eugen Archy was prosecuted in 2017 for his role in operating the site. A lower court found him guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced him to a year’s probation and ordered him to pay 217,000 Swedish krona ($26,400) in damages. Archy appealed, saying that the verdict should either be dismissed or have the damages lowered. However, the appeals court upheld both his conviction and the sentence.
The issue of fan-created subtitles is a complicated one. For many, such subtitles are the only way to access TV and movies in other languages. However, since creating them is dependent upon exclusive rights held by the creators, they have been ruled to be an infringement both in the Netherlands and now Sweden and rightsholders in those countries have begun cracking down on such sites.
Finally today, Marius Zaharia at Reuters reports that Kim Dotcom has filed a motion to compel former President Barack Obama to testify in his case against the New Zealand government over his arrest for operating Megaupload.
Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 for operating the site, which was one of the largest file sharing sites on the internet at the time. The raid on his New Zealand house cause a great deal of controversy and has resulted in an ongoing extradition fight as the U.S. government wants him to face the charges here. In the meantime, Dotcom has filed a $10 billion lawsuit against the U.S. and New Zealand governments for the destruction of Megaupload and the loss of his freedom over the past seven years.
As part of that case, he’s asking the court to compel President Obama (as he was in 2012) to give testimony about the motivations for the arrest and. Dotcom is hoping to compel President Obama to give the testimony during a visit to the country though it’s likely he will leave the country before the court issues a ruling.
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.