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Rightscorp wants to halt Internet browsing for repeat piracy culprits

08/19, 6:30pm

Enforcement group wants to install 'piracy wheel clamp' through ISPs in the future

It appears that the piracy enforcement group Rightscorp has been looking into a new strategy when it comes to repeat infringers of its clients' intellectual property. In an earnings conference call last week, the company revealed a different direction that it was considering for the future, one that includes working with Internet service providers (ISP) to block Internet browsing until a payment is made to the group.

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Premier League warns fans against posting goal clips online

08/15, 6:28am

Sharing of soccer goals via Vine, social networks claimed as a breach of copyright

Fans of soccer in the United Kingdom have been warned against the creation and sharing of animated GIFs and Vine clips of goals for high-level matches. The Premier League claims it is working on ways to trawl the Internet for football goal clips and to warn creators of the breach of copyright, just one day before the new season is set to start in the country.

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Twitch CEO tackles questions over VOD policy changes on Reddit [u]

08/07, 10:00pm

Apologies issued for surprise changes, some clarification added on audio recognition

[Updated with Twitch VOD highlight and appeal change] Twitch CEO Emmett Shear did an "ask me anything" Q-n-A on Reddit today, fielding numerous questions over the recent changes that the game-streaming service underwent this week. While Shear confirmed information on most of the changes that had already taken place, he did try to reassure users that the moves were done with a purpose.

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London police replacing advertisements on illegal download sites

07/29, 4:15pm

Replacement ads state that a site has been reported, branded with force logo

The City of London Police is taking a new approach when it comes to curbing piracy. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) recently started replacing advertising banners on websites involved with copyright infringement, warning users that the site is known to authorities. The move is aimed at cutting off revenue streams on sites promoting intellectual property (IP) theft, even when the ads are legitimate.

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Aereo not a cable company, according to US Copyright Office

07/17, 2:35pm

Declaration by US Copyright Office hampers Aereo reboot

Aereo's attempt to resurrect its cloud-based DVR service has hit a snag, this time with the US Copyright Office. After a Supreme Court ruling declared Aereo to be too similar to a cable company to escape paying licensing fees to broadcasters, the start-up offered to pay the same fees as cable companies, though the US Copyright Office goes against the court's thinking, claiming it falls short of being a cable operator.

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MPAA says digital 'first-sale doctrine' undermines emerging models

06/10, 8:59pm

House IP subcommittee heard testimony on possible first sale extension

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee Intellectual Property held a hearing on the "first sale doctrine" as part of review on copyright laws. The committee heard testimony from a number of businesses and groups on the subject of extending first-right sales to digital items. That extension, however, was a point of contention for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde arrested during raid in Sweden

06/01, 4:57pm

Swedish Police confirm Sunde's arrest based on warrant issued in 2012

One of the co-founders of the torrent site The Pirate Bay was arrested on this weekend on a warrant issued in 2012. Peter Sunde was picked up in Sweden on Saturday stemming from his conviction of aiding in copyright infringement by a Stockholm court in April 2009. Sunde was thought to have been living in Germany according to Swedish media.

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Nintendo to share ad revenue with YouTube 'Let's Play' creators

05/27, 6:07pm

Decision backtracks on company's previous stance over copyright videos

Console maker Nintendo has changed its mind on the lock down of revenue on "Let's Play" videos on YouTube. Nintendo will be launching an "affiliate program" that will give a share of the ad revenue from videos to the person(s) creating the content. The move comes after content had been flagged and removed from YouTube when Nintendo filed copyright claims on videos that included footage of their games in 2013.

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UK Internet providers to send warning letters to suspected pirates

05/09, 10:16am

Piracy warning letters deal close to completion, lacks penalty for infringing

Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are close to an agreement with parts of the entertainment industry, which will attempt to fight piracy in the country. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Program (Vcap), stemming from the Digital Economy Act of 2010, will see BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky sending warning letters to customers identified as possible infringers, though it appears that, unlike the Six Strikes system used by the Center for Copyright Infromation in the US, the scheme may not penalize infringers at all.

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Pandora hit by new copyright lawuits over songs from pre-1972

04/18, 1:57am

Record companies argue that state law protects older recordings

Following a similar lawsuits against Sirius XM radio, a group of record companies has filed suit in a New York court against Pandora, the top streaming subscription music service in the US. While songs made before February 15, 1972 are not subject to federal copyright protections, the labels argue that Pandora, like Sirius, should pay royalties to the tune of tens of millions of dollars because the songs are still protected under state laws.

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Dropbox receives criticism for DMCA warnings in personal file shares

03/30, 7:26pm

Sharing copyright-infringing files on Dropbox shows DMCA warning for some users

Dropbox is preventing some users from sharing specific files over DMCA complaints, according to reports. A screenshot showing a folder on the cloud-based storage service with the DMCA warning has appeared on Twitter, which at the time of writing has been retweeted close to 3,000 times, with the user seemingly unable to share a file thanks to Dropbox's automated copyright-infringement prevention systems.

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UK prepares to legalize CD, DVD ripping, private backups of content

03/28, 2:44pm

Modernization of UK copyright law may occur in June

The United Kingdom is preparing to legalize the ripping of DVDs and CDs for private use, it has revealed. As part of a larger movement to modernize its copyright laws, the government is also changing the way copyright laws cover quotations, caricature and parody usage, with the new rules likely to come into force June 1st of this year.

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Federal Judge: IP address insufficient to identify potential infringer

01/23, 4:15pm

New ruling speaks towards weakness of IP address as a definite identification

In a ruling likely to complicate mass-piracy lawsuits, a judge in Washington state tossed out a lawsuit accusing eight "John Does" and four named individuals of illegally downloading the movie Elf-Man. The presiding judge has declared that an IP address alone isn't sufficient to identify a user, and lacks sufficient granularity of identity to sue the possessor for copyright infringement.

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Sanctioned Beatles bootleg recordings to appear on iTunes Tuesday

12/16, 3:45pm

Move done last minute to extend UK copyright 20 years

A new Beatles album replete with songs previously available only as bootlegs will appear on iTunes on December 17, beating a copyright expiration in the United Kingdom. The album, called The Beatles: bootleg recordings 1963 will be exclusive to Apple's download service, and will serve to extend the copyright over the recordings for another 20 years. It is not known if the tracks will make it to iTunes radio.

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Apple lawyers demand takedown of iTunes Radio contract

10/11, 7:31pm

Music site exploits publicity, complains of 'substandard' terms

A digital music news site was forced to take down a copy of an iTunes Radio contract it had been given and published -- opting to post the entire contract online rather than just discuss the portions it wanted to highlight, prompting a copyright claim from Apple. While some have claimed that Apple's beef was more about suppressing business details than protecting copyright, the site's tactics raise the question of whether its okay to break the law in the name of trying to garner hits.

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Swedish subtitle site raided by police, servers seized

07/10, 7:37pm

Rights holders concerned about advertising dollars paid to site owners

Fan-curated movie subtitle repository Undertexter has been shut down after a police raid by Sweden. The site provided completely user-driven film and television show subtitles, which combined with some set-top boxes or video playback applications provide on-screen text of the show's dialog and action in alternative languages or for those who were hearing-impaired. The video content itself wasn't hosted on the site.

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Center for Copyright Information 'Six Strikes' system begins

02/25, 4:33pm

New user monitoring system powered by error-prone MarkMonitor

As expected, the Center for Copyright Information's BitTorrent monitoring system has launched, but with all five previously-announced ISPs starting up in one day. Participating ISPs in the measure, also known as "six strikes," include Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, Cablevision, and Time Warner, plus all subsidiaries of the parent companies.

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Leak: Verizon 'six strikes' will throttle user connections

01/11, 5:51pm

Mandatory viewing of anti-piracy video part of measures

Details on how Verizon will allegedly implement its "six-strikes" anti-piracy policy, set to roll out this year, have surfaced online. Warnings, bandwidth throttling, and obligatory viewings of an anti-piracy video will be applied to connections of alleged infringers, before their IP address will be passed over to the MPAA and RIAA, in order for legal action to take place.

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Google takedown requests increase tenfold in six months

12/16, 9:40pm

Over 2.5 million copyright infringement notices received per week

Google has seen the number of copyright removal requests increase by a factor of ten since the search giant started to publicize takedown notices. Requests have increased from around 250,000 per week in May to over 2.5 million notices a week, continuing the trend of the number of copyright infringement notices vastly accelerating ever since the service started.

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Google settles Belgian press copyright suit amicably

12/13, 11:50pm

All litigation dropped, Le Monde claims Google paying 5 million euros

Google took to its European blog today, and announced that it has reached a settlement with Belgian publishers that launched a suit against it six years ago. In the suit, the publishers argued that Google linked to cached copies and utilized portions of French-language content illegally. All litigation has been dropped under the new deal, but some ambiguity exists as to what exactly the European publishers have received as part of the deal.

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Hurricane Sandy damage blows 'six strikes' rule into 2013

11/28, 8:24pm

Late 2012 implementation testing hampered by storm damage

Center for Copyright Information (CCI) head Jill Lesser has announced in a blog post that the much-criticized "six strikes" copyright enforcement warning system will not be implemented until early 2013. Previously scheduled to begin in December of 2012, damage from Hurricane Sandy affected the organization's testing schedules with Internet service providers.

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Judge rejects 'embedding is infringement' legal theory

08/03, 8:53pm

Ruling: Embedding, viewing doesn't compound infringement

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has refuted a legal theory promoted by industry groups that calls embedding of third-party-hosted video copyright infringement. In Thursday's decision, the judge ruled that the video link aggregator site myVidster was not liable to adult video producer Flava Works (link may be NSFW) for users linking copies of videos uploaded by others.

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Oracle versus Google 'fair use' legal fight heading to DC?

07/18, 8:20pm

Judge Alsup unlikely to overturn his own rulings

Fresh off a triumph over Oracle in its Java plagiarizing dispute, Google has undertaken a potentially-risky maneuver by filing for a judgement as a matter of law (JMOL) ruling from Judge William Alsup on various unresolved issues from Oracle's copyright claims, and requests a hearing date of August 23. Given Alsup's comprehensive judgement on the matter, the next venue for the appeal is almost certainly the Federal appeals court in Washington, DC. Both Oracle and Google have requested the judge rule on a JMOL motion related to the unceremonious $0 dollar settlement marking the end of the trial.

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Canadian Supreme Court expands consumer 'fair use' rights

07/13, 7:05pm

New ruling removes textbook copy fees, video game music tax

The Supreme Court of Canada issued a sweeping set of rulings in the five copyright cases it heard last December, including a case covering iTunes store song sample length. The court has affirmed that "fair dealing" ("fair use" in the US) must be interpreted on the side of the user, and not on the side of copyright holders, except in the case of extreme abuse of the fair dealing statute. In the same session, the court ruled that supplemental taxes applied on downloadable video games weren't a legal "communications" tariff.

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New Zealand judge rules Megaupload search warrant illegal

06/29, 2:45am

Not enough detail on items sought, reason for search

Judge Helen Winkelmann of the New Zealand High Court ruled that police warrants used to seize property from Megaupload file-sharing site founder Kim Dotcom were illegal. The warrants used did not properly describe the offenses that they were related to, lacked details of the copyright infringement offense, and did not specify the types of items to be searched for. As a logical extension to the ruling, Judge Winkelmann said that it was unlawful for copies of Dotcom's personal data to be taken to the United States for use and analysis by the FBI.

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German 'flash drive tax' jumps 2,338 percent

06/06, 6:47pm

Tax is 'compensation for private copying'

German publication Heise is reporting that the ZP, the German organization responsible for administering a tax on blank media, has announced a sizable increase in the blank media levy. According to the ZP's announcement, the fee on flash drives and similar storage devices up to 4GB will rise from about 10 cents to $1.93. For devices larger than 4GB, the fee will jump from 10 cents to $2.42. For the smaller devices, the new tax rate amounts to a 1,850 percent increase, while the rate jumps 2,338 percent for larger storage media.

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Judge denies Oracle attempt to toss jury verdict

05/31, 8:40pm

Google found to not have willfully infringed patents

Judge William Alsup has rejected Oracle's bid to have the jury verdict finding Google to have not infringed on six patent claims overturned in its ongoing legal battle with Google. Alsup's statement, detailing the reasoning behind the denial, argues that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict absolving Google of some patent violation charges. The analysis concedes that an appellate court may find reason for a retrial, but for now, the verdict stands in the current phase of the trial.

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MPAA uses subterfuge to investigate UK-based video site

05/22, 9:56pm

US defendant offered deal to implicate UK couple

It is a terrible clich when a writer begins a story by claiming that a series of real-life events "reads like a Hollywood movie script," but occasionally dramatic stories occur that are hard to distinguish from the intricate plottings of screenwriters or novelists. An unusual operation involving the US-based Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) hiring investigators to spy on a UK couple that ran a "links to streaming video" site has resulted in prosecution with the help of a US defendant.

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RapidShare ordered to check for pirated material

03/16, 6:00pm

Ruling covers both music and book downloads

A German appeals court has ruled that RapidShare musit monitor the traffic being uploaded by its user to look for and try to stop pirated content. The ruling upholds three lower court decisions against the storage and sharing service. In each case, the company was told to do more to prevent any violation of any copyrights.

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EU moves to extend music copyrights by 20 years

09/14, 10:15pm

Change aims to aid aging musicians

The Council of the European Union has voted to extend copyright protection terms for sound recordings by 20 years. The move was widely supported by the recording industry, pushed through as a way to "help aging sessions musicians" by ensuring that royalties would not be cut off as the copyright holders were ready to retire.

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Filesharing service sues Warner Bros. for copyright fraud

09/13, 2:45pm

Claims Warner removed 100s of files it didn't own

The battle over software and video piracy took a turn yesterday when a Florida file hosting service sued Warner Brothers for allegedly engaging in copyright fraud and abuse of anti-piracy laws. Hotfile accuses the Warner Bros. of using the hosting company's anti-piracy tools to remove titles the studio doesn't own, including open source software. Hotfile is asking a court to make it whole for the losses they claim Warner Bros. caused.

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MP3tunes loses copyright lawsuit; judge tosses DMCA claims

08/22, 8:55pm

Ruling could leave door open for locker services

MP3tunes has lost a copyright infringement lawsuit originally filed by EMI, however the judge tossed many of the record label's DMCA claims that were viewed as a threat to other music locker services. Judge William Pauley agreed that MP3tunes violated EMI copyrights by failing to remove pirated tracks from its customers' music lockers after pulling the same listings from Sideload.com, a music search engine that operated alongside the locker service.

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Apple sued by artist, claims permission not granted

08/12, 7:40pm

Dutch label may actually be at fault

Former rap artist Korvel Sutton has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in California against Apple's iTunes service, charging that they are selling copyrighted tracks from his former group Pretty Boy Gangsters in other compilations without permission. Apple has already responded that license to sell the recordings, which were made in the early 1990s, came from a Dutch record label -- which has been in trouble before for distributing songs illegally.

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UK makes disc ripping legal, won't require site blocking

08/03, 11:05am

UK copyright law updated to reflect 'reality'

Vince Cable, the United Kingdom's Business secretary, has announced major changes to that country's copyright law concerning digital media. The government will legalize "format shifting," or allowing consumers to rip content from CDs and DVDs for personal use. The government will also reverse part of last year's Digital Enforcement Act, which would have blocked websites for hosting copyrighted material. Cable said the law needed to change to conform to reasonable expectations of consumers. "We've got to bring law in line with reality," he said.

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Legal challenge to Digital Economy Act fails

04/20, 8:25am

ISPs could be forced to give up individuals

A legal challenge to the UKs controversial Digital Economy Act has failed to have the legislation overturned. According to the BBC report, UK ISPs BT and Talk Talk had requested a judicial view on the grounds that it was overly invasive. The Digital Economy Act is designed to allow copyright holders the power to gather lists of IP addresses, which can then be used to target individuals. Copyright holders who have insisted that this legislation will help to reduce illegal file sharing welcomed the ruling.

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Lawyers in P2P case get right to subpoena en masse

03/25, 10:55am

Judge allows controversial measure to proceed

DC-based US Copyright Group has won a ruling that will allow it to proceed in a case against thousands of people alleged to have shared files illegally. The decision by Federal Judge Beryl Howell will require ISPs to turn over the identities of thousands of users who have engaged in P2P file sharing. This is the first time that a subpoena for the identities of thousands of people alleged to have shared files illegally has been granted.

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Ivi hit with lawsuit over unauthorized use of TV shows

09/28, 7:05pm

Broadcasters claim copyright infringement

Several broadcasters have filed a lawsuit against Ivi TV after the startup defied cease-and-desist demands to stop retransmitting broadcast TV signals via the Internet without permission. Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS have accused the small company of copyright infringement for its web-based streaming service, which provides access to over 20 channels for $5/month.

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SCO loses again over Unix patents

03/30, 9:50pm

Jury unanimously decides in favor of Novell

The SCO Group faces yet another loss in its legal battle involving a number of Unix patents, according to a blog post on Novell's website. A District Corut of Utah jury on Tuesday issued a verdict confirming Novell's ownership of the Unix copyrights. SCO had attempted to convince the court that IBM and Novell were illegally profiting from SCO-owned Unix code built into their respective versions of Linux.

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Permanent injunction bans Psystar's Mac cloning activities

12/15, 10:05pm

Court rules final judgment in Apple's favor

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has entered a final judgment granting Apple's motion for permanent injunction against Psystar. The decision effectively bans the clone maker from continuing to infringe on the Mac OS X copyrights, including manufacturing and distribution of non-Apple computers with the Mac operating system pre-installed.

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Apple gives credit to originator of media players

09/08, 10:30am

Original iPod creator?

Apple has finally given credit to a British man whose work was the inspiration behind the iPod, claims the Daily Mail. Kane Kramer, 52, is said to have created the technology that powers the digital music player nearly 30 years ago, but not received any royalties. Kramer original designed a device he called the IXI in 1979; though it would only have been capable of storing 3.5 minutes of music on a chip, Kramer was hopeful that capacity would improve over time.

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Italy's Mediaset sues YouTube for $779 million

07/30, 5:05pm

Mediaset sues YouTube

Italian broadcaster Mediaset on Wednesday announced it is seeking at least 500 million euros ($779 million) in damages from Google-owned YouTube, according to a report in Variety. The lawsuit, filed in a Rome court, accuses YouTube of "illegal distribution and commercial use of audio and video files." Mediaset alleges that an audit it performed on June 10 came up with 4,643 clips amounting to 325 hours of copyrighted Mediaset content.

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Consumer groups block MPAA bid to FCC to control TVs

07/22, 4:25pm

Groups fight MPAA FCC bid

A request to the FCC by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to waive previously set rules and thus allow it to send video content to select TVs and entertainment devices is being contested by seven public interest and consumer groups. Led by consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, the request was made on Monday, after the MPAA's May 9th request to be exempt from the rules which were set in 2003. Such exemption would allow studios to deny access to material, or postpone it, to owners of specific brands of TVs, for example, argue the public interest groups.

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EU orders pan-European music licensing

07/16, 12:30pm

Pan-European music OK'd

The European Commission has ordered music copyright organizations to allow pan-European licensing schemes, says the Associated Press. At present, companies looking to sell music throughout Europe must negotiate agreements with 24 separate collecting societies, scattered throughout the European Union. While this may protect national industries and culture, the Commission has ruled that it also breaks antitrust regulations, giving the societies monopolies in their respective homelands.

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Google, Viacom reach anonymity agreement

07/15, 5:35pm

Google Viacom agreement

Google, Viacom, and the Football Association of England have all reached an agreement after the latter two firms brought charges of copyright infringement to the video-based social networking site YouTube. Reuters reveals that while the service normally specializes in user-created content, YouTube also hosts many segmented commercial productions, despite the action being against its End-User License Agreement.

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House passes Pro-IP copyright protection act

05/09, 10:15am

Pro-IP passed by House

The House of Representatives on Friday approved the controversial Pro-IP Act, a bill which is designed to protect intellectual property by imposing more rigid punishment in the case of copyright infringement. Ars Technica writes that the bill passed with a vote of 410 to 10, but has yet to be voted on by the Senate. Among the details of the bill, one segment states that law enforcement agents would be able to seize property from those charched with copyright infringement.

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Canadian iPhone ruling may not occur for months

04/17, 9:30am

Canadian iPhone delay

It may be months or even years before Canadians can finally buy a domestic iPhone, the government now says. The major obstacle is the Toronto VoIP company Comwave, which has already used the term "iPhone;" Apple has had to contest the issue through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and an initial examiner's report was expected for June 26th. According to a CIPO spokeswoman however, the June date is only a deadline by which Apple and Comwave have to reply to an earlier notification, and either company could ask for an extension that would delay a resolution by four months.

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Italian parliament to legalize music sharing?

02/01, 4:00pm

Italian parliament and P2P

The Italian parliament may be on the verge of legalizing peer-to-peer music sharing, local paper La Repubblica reports. Already approved by both houses of the legislature, a new law allows open sharing of any images and music on the Internet, so long as the material is degraded and used solely in non-profit scientific or educational contexts. The problem, says Italian lawyer Andrea Monti, is that "degraded" has specific connotations which could include any form of MP3, given that the format is by definition affected by compression, even if listeners cannot tell.

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No Canadian DMCA in 2007

12/13, 4:50pm

No Canadian DMCA in 2007

The Canadian government will not debate the creation of DMCA-like legislation until at least 2008, writes legal expert Michael Geist. Amendments to the country's Copyright Act were expected for discussion in the House of Commons this month, but this can no longer happen, according to the press secretary for Industry Minister Jim Prentice. The bill will not be introduced tomorrow, and as parliament is breaking for the Christmas holidays after Friday, the soonest the legislation can be reintroduced is late January.

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Congressman pushes for harsher DMCA

12/13, 2:55pm

Pushing for a harder DMCA

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the chair of the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, today argued that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not go far enough, despite common complaints about its severity. Berman is overseeing a hearing on the PRO-IP Act, a bill which could increase statutory damages for copyright violation, and even establish an intellectual property enforcement office in the Department of Justice. Before today's witness testimonies began, Berman admitted that there were things he would like to change in copyright law to make the DMCA more strict.

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