Dale Dietrich
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Category — Courts

TiVo Wins Injunction Against Echostar – Appeals Court Grants a Temporary Stay

Categories: InjunctionsPatents

Text of Injunction Order
Note: I’ll post a better version of the order when I find one.
Following on TiVo’s $73.9 million victory at trial against Echostar last April, Echostar has been ordered to disable DVRs used by several million of its customers within 30 days. TiVo did NOT win the treble damages order it requested but it did win an additional $5.4 million in interest and $10.3 million more in supplemental damages bringing the amount to nearly $90 million. While Judge Folsom denied Echostar’s request to stay the injunction pending appeal, within hours of the ruling Echostar reports that the order has been temporarily stayed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sources: ZDNet | Davis Freeberg | M.C. Smith Blog | MSNBC | Red Herring | Bloomberg | L.A. Times (AP) | Engadget 1 | Engadget 2 | MacNewsWorld | CNet (Reuters) | SiliconValley.com | TheStreet.com | Houston Chronicle (AP) | CIO | MarketWatch | CBS | HD Beat | PVR Wire | ars technica | Broadcasting & Cable | The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. | Multichannel News


Engadget Podcast (first 8 minutes) on the topic.

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Millionaire Shawn Hogan to Fight Back against the MPAA

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Last November the MPAA accused millionaire Shawn Hogan of illegally downloading Meet the Fockers over BitTorrent. Hogan denies the accusation and has vowed to fight the MPAA's "abuse" of the system. Many defendants to such RIAA/MPAA driven actions pay up because they can't afford the legal bills to fight them. According to Hogan:

"Someone has to stand up to these clowns… their scare tactics make them sounds pretty foolish IMO. First of all, I would rather spend $US100,000 and not pay them $US2,500 than to just give them $US2,500 (it's about the principle)."

Sources: Wired | Shawn Hogan's Blog | Fool.com | The Age | Slate.com | Bit-tech | Afterdawn.com | DVD-Recordable.org | Neoseeker | Filmfodder News

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RIAA Drops Open WiFi Case – Virgin v. Marson

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCasesWiFi Access

Text of Order to Dismiss (Jan 24, 2006)

In an earlier post I had noted that an open WiFi connection could act as an affirmative defense against the RIAA's IP-centric lawsuit tactics because anyone could have been using a defendant's open (ie: non-encrypted) WiFi connection to download P2P content. It appears the RIAA dropped a case on that exact basis back on January 24, 2006.

Sources: Recording Industry v. The People | Bit-tech.net | P2P-Weblog | P2PNet | Techdirt 1 | Techdirt 2 | ars technica | Register | Neoseeker

Related Article: Salon.com

Dale's Update [Aug 4, 2006): The original reports about this case mentioned that Ms. Marson had an open WiFi and that was the basis of the dismissal. The later reports, see for instance the ars technica report, are now saying that Ms. Marson a cheerleader teacher that had hundreds of girls come to her house, anyone of which could have used her computer to download music. Some reports (eg: the register) say both defenses were used. The net result, however, still seems to be the same. When you can show evidence that someone other than the IP address owner/user had access to Internet connectivity through that IP address, that may very well be an affirmative defense – as would be the case with a computer with open WiFi. While ars technica is quite right that no judgment has yet turned on this point, it seems to me evidence of an open WiFi would be at least as compelling a defense. And who knows, the RIAA may already have dropped open-WiFi defense cases without disclosing this to the public.

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Kazaa Settles for $100M+ and Goes ‘Legit’

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersSettlements

After many years of legal battles both in North America and Australia, Sharman Networks, the owners of the popular Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing network, (owned by the founders of Skype) have settled with the international record labels (Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music) for in excess of $100 million U.S. Sharman will distribute music through licensing arrangements and has agreed to filter out non-licensed content. Sharman had lost an important decision in the Federal Court of Australia in September 2005, but on February 20, 2006 had said they were going to appeal that decision. Under the settlement agreement, major record companies will be entitled to 20% of proceeds of eventual music sales through the system.

Sources: New York Times | L.A. Times | ARIA Press Release | Red Herring | ars technica | BBC | Daily Telegraph (Aus) | Herald Sun (Aus) | Slyck | SiliconValley.com | Xinhaunet (China) | San Jose Mercury News | Toronto Star | Seattle Times (AP) | VNUNet | Washington Times | CNet | ZDNet | PC World (Aus) | USA Today | Bloomberg

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YouTube Sued by L.A. News Services

Categories: Big Media v InternetBigMedia v NewTechCasesDMCA-like Laws

Motion for Summary Adjudication (Nov 2006)

This is amusing. Minutes after posting the Von Lohmann story below about how the DMCA is shielding YouTube from law suits, I come across this new story that YouTube is being sued by an L.A. news service over its users' posting videos containing its copyrighted coverage of the 1992 L.A. riots on the YouTube service.

Sources: Hollywood Reporter Esq | EFF Deep Links | ars technica | Silicon.com | P2PNet | MTV

Other YouTube-Related Posts

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Dutch Court Rules ISPs Need Not Disclose File Swapper IDs

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersDecisions

English Version of Earlier July 12, 2005 District Court of Utrecht Decision
The Dutch appeals court upheld an earlier District Court of Utrecht Ruling that the method used by the MediaSentry software used to collect IP addresses of alleged Dutch P2P file shares had no lawful basis under European privacy laws. The software scans shared folders on the suspect's hard drive. The Dutch anti-piracy organization, Brein, had requested that 5 Dutch ISPs disclose the name and address of the users of IP addresses identified by the MediaSentry. As is the case with RIAA-initiated lawsuits in the United States, Brein would have used that information to bring copyright infringement actions against the alleged file sharers.

Sources: The Register | CD Freaks | DigitalMusicWeblog | TelcomPaper | Michael Geist

Dale's Comment: If anyone has access to an English copy of the Appeals Court decision, please send a copy to me and I will post it here.

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RIAA Loses in File Sharing Case Against Mom

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Text of Dismissal and Final Order
After refusing to pay the RIAA’s standard $5,000 settlement demand, a mother who didn’t even own a computer fought the RIAA in court. Over the RIAA’s objections, she was awarded attorneys fees and the case alleging copyright infringement for file sharing was dismissed after the RIAA failed to provide details as to the time and name of files allegedly downloaded to her computer.

Sources: Ars Technica  |  Recording Industry vs. The People  |  CD Freaks  |  Inquirer

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British ISP, Tiscali, Refuses BPI Request to Disconnect 17 Users

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Movie Critic, Paul Sherman, Pleads Guilty to Pirating DVDs

Categories: PiracyPolice Actions

Boston Herald movie critic, Paul Sherman, was arrested and charged with selling over 100 “screeners”—preview copies of movies on DVD handed out to reviewers—to various pirate groups over the last few years. He was paid US$4,714 for the use of his screeners. He faces a maximum penalty of US$250,000 and three years in prison. He will be sentenced in October.

Sources:
ars technica  |  cinematical  |  boston.com

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Another WiFi Arrest – this time in Vancouver Washington

Categories: Police ActionsWiFi Access

Alexander Eric Smith was arrested after a three-month stretch where he periodically parked in front of a coffee shop off-and-on with a laptop and used its wireless Internet connection.

Sources:
ars technica | Engadget | San Francisco Chronicle | techsearch | EETimes | iTnews.com.au | katu.com

Dale’s Comment: Still another arrest for another victimless crime. See my comments to a similar story on March 23, 2006. In this particular case, if the coffee shop wanted to ensure against external users, then they should have used password access control. Otherwise, if people make their wireless access available without protection, passers-by should be entitled to use it.

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RIAA Sends Cease and Desist Letters to Youtube/Google Video Users

Categories: Big Media v InternetBigMedia v NewTechBigMedia v. P2P UsersCease & DesistiVOD/iTV

Post a few seconds of you or your friends dancing to an RIAA-member song on YouTube or Google Video? Expect a cease and desist letter from the RIAA.

Sources: ars technica | techdirt

Dale's Comment: I wonder how the RIAA is going to justify how a video of my sister contorting to the Chicken Dance is going to hurt their members' bottom lines.

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Judge Shuts Down UK-based Streaming Football Site

Categories: DecisionsiVOD/iTV

In a decision reminiscent of the Canadian 2000/2003 iCrave TV decision, UEFA and BSkyB took three people behind Sportingstreams.com to the High Court where the judge upheld their claim that the site’s re-broadcasting of Champion League football games was unauthorized and breached copyright legislation.

Sources: Out-law.com | The Register

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MPAA Sues Another Torrent Site – This time ISOHunt

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

It appears that The Pirate Bay is not the only Torrent search site under attack by the MPAA, Canada-based ISOHunt is now the subject of an MPAA lawsuit.

Sources: CBC  |  ISOHunt Forum Discussion  |  P2PNet

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BitTorrent Site PirateBay.org Raided – Servers Seized

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersPolice Actions

The site was raided by Swedish law enforcement and its server farms confiscated. Three were arrested. It’s servers host only .torrent files, not actual copyrighted material. As a tracker site, ThePirateBay.org’s function is to index .torrent files and to direct BitTorrent traffic and maintain the swarm (uploads and downloads).The legality of indirectly linking to copyrighted material has apparently not yet been tested by Swedish courts.

Sources: ars technica | Slyck | CNet | Forbes | ABC News (AP) | Wired | The Register

Dale’s Comment: Another one down, infinite tracker sites to go!! But is it? The day after the raid, The Pirate Bay promised to be up and running again within days – in another country. I’ll keep you posted.

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German Police Charge Thousands in eDonkey Raids

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersPolice ActionsPrivacy

German authorities searched over 130 premises of alleged eDonkey pirates in Cologne and Bergheim on Tuesday. Police have charged thousands of eDonkey users alleging they were sharing up to 8,000 copyrighted works. The individuals face large fines of up to $19K and even jail time.

Sources: BBC | Slyck | Register | ZDNet | Reuters | MP3.com | United Press Int’l | Mac World

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Torrentspy Sues the MPAA for Conspiracy and Invasion of Privacy

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCasesPrivacy

Text of Complaint
Torrentspy has filed a lawsuit against the MPAA, accusing the group of conspiracy, unlawful business practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, and more. Valencie Media, the operators of TorrentSpy allege that the MPAA hired a former business associate to hack into its systems to access its confidential information.
Sources: ars technica | San Jose Mercury News (AP) | PC Magazine | The Register | CNet | ZDNet | ComputerWorld | Slyck | Security Pro News
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Morpheus’ Maker Streamcast Sues eBay over Right of First Refusal

Categories: AgreementsCases

Streamcast claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles that Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the duo who developed the technology behind the company’s Kazaa and Skype, of breaking an agreement to give StreamCast the first right to purchase their FastTrack peer-to-peer protocol. StreamCast is seeking more than $4 billion in damages.

Sources:
CNet | USA Today (AP) | ars technica

Note: Streamcast has become quite litiguous of late. In April Streamcast turned about-face and chose to battle the RIAA and the MPAA despite earlier statements to the contrary. See earlier related stories posted on April 10, 2006.

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Sony Rootkit DRM Settlement Passes Final Legal Hurdle

Categories: Intrusive TPMs - RootkitsSettlements

Text of Settlement Agreement
A U.S. federal judge approved the proposed December 28 settlement between Sony and consumers who filed a class action lawsuit over copy-protection root-kit software installed on music CDs. Consumers who bought the CDs will receive replacement discs without the anti-piracy technologies and will let them choose one of two incentive packages that provide cash or free music downloads. Sony will also provide consumers with a patch to remove the rootkit software from their computers.

Sources: Silicon.com | Reuters | PC Magazine (Reuters) | TechNewsWorld | CBS (AP) | Engadget | PC World (IDG) | BBC ZDNet | CNet | LA Times

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TiVo Seeks Echostar Injunction

Categories: CasesPatents

Evidently TiVo and Echostar could not agree on a post-judgment settlement. TiVo is now seeking a court order shutting down Echostar’s competing DVR. TiVo is seeking an order that would disable the DVR functionality in all but 192,702 of EchoStar’s DVRs already placed with customers. TiVo also seeks a recall of Echostar DVR products already with distributors and retailers and to stop the production of infringing products. A hearing on the matter is set on June 26/27. Echostar promises to challenge the jury trial verdict.

Sources: Rocky Mountain News | Engadget | Business Week (AP) | ars technica | LA Times (Bloomberg) | Washington Post

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Music Labels Sue XM Over its Inno/Helix Recording Capabilities

Categories: BigMedia v NewTechCases

Text of Music Industry Complaint
The RIAA, in a law suit filed this week in federal court in New York, seeks a $150,000 in damages for every song that may have been copied by XM listeners, claiming that devices such as XM’s new Pioneer Inno and the Samsung Helix violate copyrights. Despite the fact that recording from the radio has always been considered fair use in the U.S., and the fact that music cannot be extracted from XM’s recording devices, the music industry believes that the quality of satellite radio makes it a “free iTunes” of sorts. Michael Petricone, vice president of government affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association, said that the RIAA is trying to block an activity that “has always been considered legal” and expressly recognized by Congress as “protected from lawsuit.” The music industry fails to mention in its complaint that home recording of music is permitted under the Audio Home Recording Act (1992). That legislation allows consumers to digitally record music from CDs and broadcast transmissions for personal use, but prevents making digital copies from copies. “Sirius radio is not named in the suit because it had previously negotiated a deal with the RIAA for devices like the Inno and the Helix.

Sources: ars technica | EFF | L.A. Timers | Red Herring | HRRC.org | PC Magazine (Reuters) | Billboard | The Register | MTV | Forbes | PC World (IDG) | Washington Post | MP3.com | BBC | Engadget | Tech News World | TechWeb | Digital Life | Sci-Tech Today | Digital Music News

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Bearshare Settles with RIAA for $30M and Shuts Down

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersSettlements

Under the proposed judgment, which still must be approved by the court, the operators of once-popular Bearshare, Free Peers, has entered into a $30 million settlement with the RIAA to settle copyright violation charges against and down. BearShare’s assets, including the domain name and list of BearShare users, were sold to iMesh.

Sources: ZDNet | BBC | Red Herring | L.A. Times (AP) | MP3.com | BetaNews | Canada.com | Billboard Radio Monitor | Wall St. Journal | DVD-Recordable.com | afterdawn.com | P2PNet

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Constitutionality of $750-Per-Song Damages Challenged in UMG v. Lindor

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Text Constitutional Challenge
RIAA Response
The constitutionality of the RIAA’s claim of $750 in damages per-song, where the publisher typically receives only 70 cents per-song, is being challenged in UMG v. Lindor. Available damages are 1071 times greater than the damages suffered.

Source: Recording Industry vs. The People

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Echostar Follows RIM/NTP Playbook and Urges Judge to Stay TiVo Judgment

Categories: CasesPatents

USPTO Documents Filed Pertaining to this Challenge
EchoStar filed a request late last year with the USPTO to reexamine TiVo’s ’389 “multimedia time warping system” patent. Engadget reports that Echostar is going the way of RIM/NTP and are asking Judge Folsom to stay the judgment until word comes back from the patent office.

Source: Engadget

Dale’s Comment: Since the TiVo victory, numerous postings on various TiVo forums have indicated that TiVo has been negotiating a licensing deal/settlement with Echostar. No decision on treble damages for willful infringement has yet been handed down. And, of course, Echostar’s patent infringement counter suit against TiVo is still scheduled for next year.

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Warner/RIAA vs. The John Does Trial to Start May 19

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

"At the heart of the RIAA litigation process is the ex parte discovery orders obtained by the RIAA in virtually secret 'lawsuits' against a large number of "John Does". These cases are brought for the sole purpose of obtaining the names and addresses of the defendants. Once the information is obtained, the RIAA discontinues the cases, and then sues the people in separate lawsuits."

Sources: Recording Industry vs. The People | Digital Music News

 

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First Beijing P2P Infringement Case Heads To Court

Categories: BigMedia v P2P ProvidersCases

Beijing Secondary People’s Court has begun to hear a lawsuit filed by Shanghai Busheng Music and Culture Company against Beijing Feixingwang Music Software Development Company, who is accused of software copyright infringement.

Sources: China Tech News

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