FLVTO.biz suggests RIAA to file lawsuit in Russia, Cox Communications requests delay in paying damages, Nintendo secures injunctions in Spain and Japan to release new laws to regulate Cosplay.
FLVTO.biz suggests RIAA to file lawsuit in Russia not US
The Russian stream-ripping platform, FLVTO.biz in a new legal document heavily suggested that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) submit its complaint to a Russian Court. The ongoing dispute is with reference to a lawsuit against FLVTO.biz, 2CONV.com and the sites’ owner, Tofig Kurbanov, which was filed in 2018. The initial ruling in this matter was in the favour of the Russian streaming platforms. However, the Fourth Circuit Court of appeals in the US, overturned the previous verdict and ruled that, RIAA did have jurisdiction over the streaming platforms, since the platforms required users to accept a terms of service agreement prior to use. Further, the court also stated that “the mere absence of a monetary exchange does not automatically imply a non-commercial relationship, between FLVTO.biz and its userbase”.
This dispute raises many questions concerning whether American copyright law can be applied to a foreign native who operates their services outside the US when such services are availed and used within the US.
Cox Communications requests delay in paying damages
Cox Communications was the first American ISP that was successfully sued for the poor implementation of its repeat infringer policy. As a consequence, it lost the safe harbour protection accorded to it and was liable for its customer’s copyright infringement. It has appealed this decision and has requested the court for a stay of execution on the payment of billions in damages it owes to Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music pending the outcome of their appeal.
It has also proposed setting up a supersedeas bond with another USD2 million to cover the interest that will accrue. A jury had earlier decided that the company was to pay statutory damages of USD 99,830.29 for each of the 10,017 infringed copyrights. Cox argued that there was a crossover between some of the songs and recordings identified but the judge noted that this should have been brought up in the original hearing.
Nintendo secures injunctions in Spain
Nintendo was granted injunctions by a court in Barcelona that orders Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block sites like Team Xecuter that provide a work-around of its piracy security systems and access to websites dealing with devices that circumvent technological protection measures (TCMs). The court also granted injunctions blocking access to switch-xci and nxbrew that offer pirated copies of Nintendo games. The developer was granted a similar injunction against Team Xecuter domains by the United Kingdom High Court last year.
Japan to release new laws to regulate Cosplay
The Japanese government is currently discussing laws that would regulate potential copyright disputes between cosplayers and intellectual property owners. These discussions come as part of the government’s ‘Cool Japan’ strategy that seeks to promote and share aspects of Japanese culture. The law is currently unclear and would depend on whether the pictures are shared online or sold for monetary benefit and not as a hobby alone. One of the solutions put forward is the creation of a database of copyright owners which can be used by cosplayers to contact the owners and get the relevant permissions.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Lian Joseph (Legal Intern)
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