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Guide for defendants in mass copyright lawsuits (Bit Torrent Filesharing cases)

You may be a defendant, or may know a defendant involved in one of the “BitTorrent filesharing lawsuits.” These suits are also sometimes referred to as “Mass copyright lawsuits” because for the first time, hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals like yourself have been implicated in lawsuits alleging “copyright infringement.” Indeed, as of September 2011, there are over 200,000 individuals involved in such lawsuits.

New Media Rights has drafted the guide below to provide you with basic, practical information regarding these lawsuits.
 

September Newsletter: Success stories, challenging AT&T, and Blogworld 2011

Our September newsletter brings news of success stories fighting DMCA abuse, a grant awarded by the California Consumer Protection Foundation, and our continuing efforts to stop the AT&T-Tmobile merger. 

You can also catch us in person at Media Law in the Digital Age in October, a conference coproduced by Harvard Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project and the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, as well as Blogworld 2011 in LA in November.

Data portability policies to ensure and open and competitive internet - an idea whose time has come?

Data Portability Icon - CC-BY 2.0

I recently shared the concept of developing data portability policies, standards, and best practices as a potential project for New Media Rights' Drumbeat San Diego event, and as project that could fit within Mozilla's larger Drumbeat initiative fostering projects that celebrate and ensure and open web.

This project begins with the concept that user choice, and user control over their experience, should remain a distinguishing feature of the open internet.

To maintain a healthy competition amongst online services heavily reliant on user-submitted data, it will become increasingly important to make sure user data is easily portable. This will help ensure that popular services make changes according to the interests of their users, and that new services can compete on the basis of their merits and usability, without artificial barriers to competition. Keeping data in the hands of users, rather than allowing confusing legal and technological techniques to lock upconsumer data, will help ensure an open and competitive internet.

YouTube's victory over Viacom reinforces DMCA safe harbor protections for websites

On June 23, Viacom's claim for $1 billion in damages was shot down when the District Court for the Southern District of New York found YouTube and its owner Google not liable for copyright infringement in a much-anticipated decision. The two corporate giants have been at it since 2007, when Viacom joined with other plaintiffs including Paramount Pictures and sued YouTube, claiming that the online video service was legally responsible for copyright infringement when users posted clips of copyrighted material, including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, owned by plaintiffs.

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