Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spain is set to go after file sharing

"The names of 200 Web sites that offer links to illegal downloads in Spain are to be given to the Spanish industry ministry as the first major move in the fight against online music piracy, it was announced in Madrid today (Oct. 19) at the presentation of a report called Parasites' Business."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Delaware Court on case of first impression holds photographs published on web in Germany not "published" in US

From Loeb & Loeb LLP: "District court, addressing what it determined to be an issue of first impression, holds that posting a work created outside the U.S. on a website outside the U.S. by a foreign national does not constitute publishing the work simultaneously in the U.S., and therefore plaintiff did not need to register his photographs before filing suit for infringement in a U.S. court."


The opinion states that publishing the work (photos) in Germany is not "publishing" for purposes of the requirement for registration needed on US works in order to bring suit in the US, even though after published on the web in Germany the photos were immediately available on the web in the US.

The court states on page 8, "Thus, in a case of first impression, this Court must consider the correlation between the posting of foreign copyrighted works on a foreign website and the copyright holder’s ability to file suit for infringement in the United States pursuant to the United States Copyright Act."

The court has held that even though, in reality, when the photos were published in Germany they were simultaneously published in the U.S., "as a matter of statutory law" they were *not* published in the U.S.

The opinion doesn't describe that copyright registration is a relatively easy process, and registration is needed to bring suit, not to have copyright protection.

From the opinion:
“What appears to be a simple premise actually joins an issue of first impression not addressed by any court. Defendants contend that plaintiff’s photographs, which were created undisputably outside the United States, are United States works because when
they were posted on a German website, they were ‘published’simultaneously in Germany and in the United States . . . because the posting of a photograph on a website simultaneously ‘publishes’ the photograph ‘everywhere,’ including the United States, it is a ‘United States work,’ and as such, it must be registered prior to filing suit for infringement . . . Professor Cotter explains, however, that the determination of the country of origin is not so simple, as that determination hinges on whether the work is ‘published,’ and, if so, where the work is published . . . The Court does not need to delve into yet another unsettled issue, however, because even assuming that the German website ‘published’ plaintiff’s photographs, the Court holds that as a matter of U.S. statutory law the photographs were not published simultaneously in the United States.” Moberg v 33T LCC, US District Court Delaware

Friday, October 2, 2009

Communications Decency Act Issues Raised in Recent Facebook Suit

Facebook is being sued for content it has posted according to an article in PC Mag.com.


A comprehensive discussion of issues around the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Section 230, is located here:


An excerpt from this article by the Center for Democracy & Technology states:

"The four amicus briefs [filed by the CDT] essentially all argue for the same thing: a continued reading of §230 in the spirit that Congress intended and that a multitude of courts have so far followed. Any departure would otherwise stifle the provision's purpose and undermine industry strides towards responsible self-regulation. In those briefs, CDT argues that "intermediaries" - ISPs, websites, and online service providers that enable other people - Internet users - to post content onto the Internet should not be held liable for the content posted. To hold intermediaries liable would greatly chill their willingness to host online content created by others. To use a simple example, if the YouTube.com video sharing website had to be legally responsible for the content of the tens or hundreds of thousands of new videos posted to it each day, the site could not possibly continue to operate as an open forum for users' video expression."

The Citizens Media Law Project also provides a comprehensive overview:


And, another excellent discussion on David Johnson's blog


High court approves injunction via Twitter

In the guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/oct/01/twitter-injunction