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United States

British Student Faces Extradition To US Over Copyright 340

An anonymous reader writes "A 23-year-old British computer student faces possible extradition to the U.S. for linking to copyrighted content on his website. The student, Richard O'Dwyer, was accused of copyright infringement after setting up the website TV Shack, which had links to thousands of films and tv shows, but did not directly host them."
Cloud

NZL Govt Rushes Thru Controversial Anti-Piracy Law 162

netsukeninja writes "The New Zealand government has surprised the public and even some MPs by moving to rush through its controversial 3 strikes-style legislation today. The new measures will allow for users to be disconnected from the Internet for up to 6 months, based on infringement claims from copyright holders."
EU

Key Music Industry Lawyer Named EU Copyright Chief 74

halfEvilTech writes "The European Union's new point person on copyright policy won't take up her post until mid-April, but she's already stirring up controversy. That's because Maria Martin-Prat spent years directing 'global legal policy' for IFPI, the global recording industry's London-based trade group, before moving back into government. The appointment raises new questions about the past private-sector work of government officials, especially those crafting policy or issuing legal judgments on the same issues they once lobbied for."
Movies

Former Senator Chris Dodd Set To Head MPAA 181

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Hill reports that former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is set to become the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, taking over the $1.2 million position and the job of coordinating the policy goals of the various member studios. Interim CEO and president Bob Pisano says the organization's unwavering focus on its top priority will remain: increasing the federal government's efforts to stop online film piracy. The MPAA is optimistic about its legislative prospects this Congress, thanks to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (headed by Dodd's close friend Senator Patrick Leahy) last year before stalling in the full Senate. The bipartisan bill would make it easier for the Justice Department to shut down websites that traffic pirated music, movies and counterfeit goods. While a member of the Senate, Dodd was an adamant opponent of the FISA bill that granted retroactive immunity to telecoms who engaged in warrantless wiretapping."
Encryption

Sony Wins Restraining Order Against Geohot 397

tekgoblin writes "The courts have just issued a temporary restraining order against George Hotz (Geohot). Sony filed this lawsuit because they were unhappy that Geohot had released the Playstation 3 decryption keys so other people could play unsigned games on it. [Geohot is prohibited from] 'offering to the public, creating, posting online, marketing, advertising, promoting, installing, distributing, providing, or otherwise trafficking' in any software or methods for circumventing the PS3's protection methods. No longer can he 'provide links from any website to any other website' relating to such matters, or publish any information obtained by hacking the PS3. And more to the point, he can no longer 'engage in acts of circumvention of TPMS in the PS3 System to access, obtain, remove, or traffic in copyrighted works.' Pretty much he can't talk or think about the PS3 for some time."
Democrats

Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer For Solicitor General 463

Xiph1980 writes "President Barack Obama on Monday nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. to serve as the nation's solicitor general. The solicitor general is charged with defending the government before the Supreme Court, and files friend-of-the court briefs in cases in which the government believes there is a significant legal issue. The office also determines which cases it would bring to the Supreme Court for review. Verrilli is best known for leading the recording industry's legal charge against music- and movie-sharing site Grokster. That 2003 case ultimately led to Grokster's demise when the US Supreme Court sided with the RIAA's verdict."
Censorship

DHS Seized Domains Based On Bad Evidence 235

An anonymous reader writes "Back over Thanksgiving, the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit (ICE) made a lot of news by seizing over 80 domain names. While many of these involved sites that sold counterfeit products, five of the domains involved copyright issues. Four of them involved hiphop-related blogs — including ones that hiphop stars like Kanye West and others used to promote their own works, and the last one was a meta search engine that simply aggregated other search engines. Weeks went by without the owners of those sites even being told why their domains were seized, but the affidavit for the seizure of those five sites has recently come out, and it's full of all sorts of problems. Not only was it put together by a recent college graduate, who claimed that merely linking to news and blog posts about file sharing constituted evidence of copyright infringement, it listed as evidence of infringement songs that labels specifically sent these blogs to promote. Also, what becomes clear is that the MPAA was instrumental in 'guiding' ICE's rookie agent in going after these sites, as that appeared to be the only outside expertise relied on in determining if these sites should be seized."
Republicans

Republicans Create Rider To Stop Net Neutrality 528

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF writes "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) submitted a rider yesterday to a bill on military and veterans' construction projects. The rider would, 'prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards.' It is co-signed by six other Republican senators. We all knew this was coming after the last election removed most of the vocal supporters of net neutrality and supplanted them with pro-corporate Republicans."
Government

Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill 390

itwbennett writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 19-0 in favor of a bill that would allow the Department of Justice to seek court orders to shut down websites offering materials believed to infringe copyright. 'Rogue websites are essentially digital stores selling illegal and sometimes dangerous products,' Senator Patrick Leahy, the main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. 'If they existed in the physical world, the store would be shuttered immediately and the proprietors would be arrested. We cannot excuse the behavior because it happens online and the owners operate overseas. The Internet needs to be free — not lawless.' However, the internet will likely remain 'lawless' for a while longer, as there are only a few working days left in the congressional session and the bill is unlikely to pass through the House of Representatives in that short amount of time."
Censorship

White House Pressuring Registrars To Block Sites 569

An anonymous reader writes "While the Senate is still debating a bill that would force registrars and ISPs to block access to sites deemed 'infringing,' it appears that the White House's IP Czar is already holding meetings with ISPs, registrars and payment processors to start voluntarily blocking access to sites it doesn't like. Initially, they're focused on online pharmacies, but does anyone think it will only be limited to such sites? ICANN apparently has refused to attend the meetings, pointing out that they're 'inappropriate.' Doesn't it seem wrong for the US government to be pushing private companies to censor the Internet without due process?"
Piracy

UK ISPs To Pay 25% of Copyright Enforcement Costs 255

Andorin writes "The UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has released a report (PDF) related to the new Digital Economy Act. The debate between copyright holders and ISPs about who should front the costs for the enforcement of the Act's anti-piracy provisions has come to a close: Rights holders will pay 75% of the copyright enforcement costs, with the remaining 25% of the bill going to ISPs (and therefore their customers). Says the Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey: 'Protecting our valuable creative industries, which have already suffered significant losses as a result of people sharing digital content without paying for it, is at the heart of these measures... We expect the measures will benefit our creative economy by some £200m per year and as rights holders are the main beneficiaries of the system, we believe our decision on costs is proportionate to everyone involved.' Not surprisingly, some ISPs and consumer groups are up in arms about the decision, with one ISP calling it a government subsidy of the entertainment industries."
Privacy

Judge Allows Subpoenas For Internet Users 338

crimeandpunishment writes "A federal judge has ruled that the company holding a movie copyright can subpoena the names of people who are accused of illegally downloading and distributing the film. The judge ruled that courts have maintained that once people convey subscriber information to their Internet service providers, they no longer have an expectation of privacy."
Software

Court Says First Sale Doctrine Doesn't Apply To Licensed Software 758

An anonymous reader wrote to tell us a federal appeals court ruled today that the first sale doctrine is "unavailable to those who are only licensed to use their copies of copyrighted works." This reverses a 2008 decision from the Autodesk case, in which a man was selling used copies of AutoCAD that were not currently installed on any computers. Autodesk objected to the sales because their license agreement did not permit the transfer of ownership. Today's ruling (PDF) upholds Autodesk's claims: "We hold today that a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions. Applying our holding to Autodesk’s [software license agreement], we conclude that CTA was a licensee rather than an owner of copies of Release 14 and thus was not entitled to invoke the first sale doctrine or the essential step defense. "
Australia

Australian Crackdown On Console Modchips Likely To Continue 89

angry tapir writes "Late last week an Australian court issued an injunction against a handful of retailers selling or importing hardware — commonly known as 'mod chips' — that allows unauthorized software to run on Sony's PlayStation 3. The court also required that the four parties that were the subject of the injunction actually hand over to Sony any PlayStation modchips they have. Sony's PlayStation 3 mod chip lawsuit could be just the first of many such cases in Australia, according to a lawyer who defended a client against Nintendo in a similar case earlier this year."
Businesses

Sony Halts Sales of PS3 Jailbreak Dongle 179

An anonymous reader tips news that "Online Australian retailer Quantronics has been ordered by the Federal Court of Australia, Victoria District Registry on the 26 August 2010 to halt PS JailBreak PS3 modchip sales and distribution." The court order (.DOC) indicates this injunction will hold until a hearing on August 31. Another reader points out related news that a German website claims to have reverse engineered the hack, finding it to be a newly-developed exploit rather than a clone of Sony's JIG module (original in German). Sony has already been banning users of the modchip when detected.

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