April 2013

Copyright owners who wish to file mass copyright suits based on a “BitTorrent Swarm” joinder theory—cases in which dozens (sometime hundreds) of anonymous defendants are joined in a single suit and then identified by serving subpoenas on their ISPs—are not welcome in Massachusetts.

I’ve written about the phenomenon of BitTorrent swarm mass copyright suits before, but it looks like the door has been all but closed to these cases in the District of Massachusetts. As a reminder, here’s how these cases work.

Assume you are the CFO of an adult movie publisher. Sales aren’t doing very well (given all the free porn on the Internet), and you’re under pressure to increase revenues. You hear about a gambit used by some other adult movie companies, and you decide to give it a try.

You know your movies are being downloaded from the Internet, infringing your copyrights. You sue a group of downloaders, all of whom are part of the same “Bit Torrent Swarm,” as “Does”—that is, anonymous defendants whose names will be substituted into the suit at a later date.… Read the full article

Federal Judge Tells Redigi to Shut It Down

by Lee Gesmer on April 2, 2013

Federal Judge Tells Redigi to Shut It Down

As I reluctantly predicted last week, U.S District Court Judge Richard Sullivan has ruled that Redigi’s digital resale business is not protected by the first sale doctrine. His March 30, 2013 decision falls squarely in line with the arguments made by Capitol Records and rejects all of Redigi’s positions.

I have written quite a bit on this case (here and here), and there is nothing new or surprising in the court’s decision. The court described the issue before it as “the novel question . . . whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine.” In answering this question the court emphasized that because it is “a court of law and not a congressional subcommittee or technology blog, the issues are narrow, technical, and purely legal.” Indeed, the court hewed closely to the statute.… Read the full article

Do you think U.S. copyright law protects the author of this news snippet from copying? –

Job seekers can roll the dice to land work at another of the four casinos coming soon to Ohio. Hollywood Casino Toledo has posted more than 600 job listings on its website this week. . . . restaurant workers, slots and table games supervisors, groundskeepers and security officers. The casino is scheduled to open in the spring with . . .

How about this one? –

The military intelligence complex an hour outside Washington where the WikiLeaks case goes to court this week is known as a cloak-and-dagger sanctum off-limits to the public — a reputation that’s only partly true. . . . low-level clearance and a Lady Gaga CD. The prosecution can only hope that their arguments, or the evidence, will reveal the secrets of how, . . .

Would it make a difference if you knew that the 58 words in first excerpt are taken from a 109 word article, and the 61 words in the second article from a 540  word article, and that both articles were (as they appear) factual news pieces?… Read the full article