Posts by Katy Tasker:

Monday, June 29th

  • In PK’s comment on the National Broadband Plan proposed by the FCC, we said that it’s time to treat broadband as an essential utility like water and electricity. Some advocates are raising another question: Is broadband a civil right? To some this may seem like a radical change in rhetoric, but there is a long tradition of communications policy being discussed within a similar framework—just read the 1934 Communications Act.

Tuesday, June 30th

  • The Supreme Court rejected the case against Cablevision’s remote-storage DVR service, reinforcing a lower court’s decision that the service, which is functionally the same as legal, time-shifting services such as TiVo, is not infringing.

Wednesday, July 1st

  • The RIAA came out on top in its lawsuit against Usenet.com. A federal judge found the newsgroup provider liable for direct infringement, inducement of infringement, contributory infringement, and vicarious infringement. Usenet, called an “egregious player” who “appears to have gone way over the line” by Techdirt, did not exactly curry the favor of the judge.
  • A federal judge decided to indefinitely ban 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a sequel to and commentary on J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. The Swedish author Fredrik Colting said in an email message, “Call me an ignorant Swede, but the last thing I thought possible in the U.S. was that you banned books.”
  • Facing $3.6 million in penalties, Pirate Bay was bought up by the Swedish Software firm Global Gaming Factory X for about $8 million, claiming that it will introduce legitimizing business models to ensure “that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site.”  Exactly how they will do this, or how they will even be able to afford buying TBP, is unclear.

Thursday, July 2nd

  • In response to concerns over antitrust issues brought up by the Google Book Search settlement, the Justice Department officially opened an investigation to determine whether parts of the agreement violate the Sherman Act.
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Monday, June 22nd

Addressing the French Parliament at Versailles, President Sarkozy announced his plan to “go all the way” in defense of the proposed 3-strikes HADOPI legislation that was deemed unconstitutional by the France’s Constitutional Council earlier this month. The legislation proposes kicking copyright infringers off the Internet for a year after receiving three warnings for infringing behavior.

Tuesday, June 23rd

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Monday, June 15th

Legal accusations are being thrown that JK Rowling was more than inspired by Adrian Jacob’s Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Although Jacob died in 1997, his estate says that it is seeking “proper recognition of his contribution to this success story.”

Tuesday, June 16th

A Swedish author under the nom de plume J.D. California is being sued for infringing the ever-reclusive J.D. Salinger’s copyright in a new novel called 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. The author says that he never thought the book would bring a lawsuit—“In Sweden, we don’t sue people.”

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Last Week in News

June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 7th

  • Sweden’s Pirate Party, a one-issue political party that wants to “fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens’ rights are respected, gets a seat in the European Parliament.

Monday, June 8th

  • “The Chinese government has quietly mandated that any personal computer sold in the country be pre-installed” with Internet-censoring software.
  • Anti-Pirate Bay lawyer Henrik Pontén gets pranked—first name legally changed to “Pirate.”

Wednesday, June 10th

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Greetings. This is my first week as a lowly undergraduate, summer intern here at Public Knowledge. A little intimidated by the fact that the other interns are either recently graduated or currently enrolled law school students, I hope to hold my own in the cozy office I share with Matt and Rashmi (whom I have yet to meet). As usual, I am somewhat over-booked this summer, taking classes when I am not at PK. I go to school at NYU, but the District is my hometown; and I’m glad to exchange New York City hipsters for Washington, DC politicos… at least for a few months.

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