By now, most have us have heard about the massive MegaUpload raid in New Zealand brought on by a team of US and international law enforcement that resulted in the arrest of its founder (Kim Dotcom) and high-level employees (but not rapper/”CEO” Swizz Beatz), the shuttering of its website, and the forfeiture of assets belonging to the arrestees including luxury cars and mega televisions. The arrest of Mr. Dotcom was finally able to occur after New Zealand police cut him out of a safe room in his mansion.
Because MegaUpload.com was one of the most trafficked websites in the world, the shock waves have been reverberating around the Internet over the last few days.
As I visited The Boston Globe’s website to read about the stumbling Red Sox (I will not say which baseball team I root for right now), I came across a far more interesting story that highlights a growing problem US companies are facing.
Now that we are a more intellectual property (IP) based economy (we manufacture less, but develop more technology and software), we will rely more and more on the strength of IP laws around the world. Unfortunately, China has fallen short in that department (more so with enforcement than laws on the books) and the case of American Superconductor Corp. illustrates this issue perfectly.
We have not addressed it too much on this blog yet, but trade secrets are always a litigious area in intellectual property.
Now comes word out of a trial involving insider trading that someone at Samsung (which was in Apple’s iPad supply chain) leaked the existence of the iPad before it was known.
Hotfile.com which has been the subject of a lawsuit from Warner Bros. and other movie studios since the beginning of this year has turned the tables in a filing yesterday.
In a counterclaim against Warner Bros., Hotfile is claiming Warner Bros. violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In another twist, Righthaven, the company some call a copyright enforcer and others call a copyright troll may be nearing bankruptcy.
We have followed this controversy closely and you can get up to speed quickly by going here and here.
Is a judge’s order to pay 34 thousand dollars enough to push Righthaven over the edge? Apparently so, according to its own lawyers (via wired.com).
What happens when a company retroactively purchases (from a few newspapers) the right to sue website owners where copies of the newspaper’s articles appeared for alleged copyright violations?
You get a lot of angry people and federal judges unwilling to engage in the company’s shenanigans.
We’ve spoken a bit about copyrights already on this blog and plan on doing so quite a bit more in the future. In our practice, we have seen many American companies damaged by the sale of pirated and bootlegged material on the internet. This material can range from a new movie or song to pharmaceutical products. The main issue surrounding this loss of billions of dollars to American creators is that usually the owners of the rogue websites, if not the domains and the hosting companies supporting these websites are found outside of the U.S., which greatly limits the power of the Department of Justice and copyright holders to prevent the sale of illegal material.
Looking back at the blog, we have covered a wide range of subjects over the last few days. Here are some highlights worth looking at that you may have missed:
Hope everyone has a good Thursday. More to come soon.
Here is why affiliates for and maybe even users of Hotfile maybe be sweating a little this morning:
MPAA Demand (via TorrentFreak)