Courtesy Techdirt, a copy of the Megaupload indictment is embedded below. The indictment is against an alleged "rogue website" that allegedly facilitates copyright infringement.
Recently Congress has initiated legislation, the Protect-IP Act ("PIPA") and the Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA"). These efforts were purportedly aimed at rogue websites. Critics charged that the laws would permit copyright owners to shut down legitimate websites without due process of law, contained problematic security measures (DNS masking) and would have an overall severe chilling effect on the exercise of First Amendment rights relating to copyright's fair use doctrine, which permits use of copyrighted works for certain purposes. The legislation seems to have stalled in the wake of an internet/tech community uproar, culminating in blackouts by popular websites such as Wikipedia.
Right as all of this was happening, the Justice Department's seized of Megaupload basically doing what SOPA and PIPA proponets claimed they could not do, more from Techdirt on the details here. Breaking news here.
Perhaps most significant was the US Supreme Court's decision in Golan v. Holder (see my last post for a copy). The Supreme Court stated really for the first time that Congress could use the Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution to take materials from the public domain.
This is a dramatic and sweeping statement and it will change the battleground in the copyright wars for the decades to come. I was fortunate enough to attend a luncheon with Maria Pallante, Register of Copyrights, last Thursday in Washington, DC and to discuss the Golan decision with her. The luncheon was sponsored by the Capitol Hill Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2011 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Rogue Website Seizure By Department of Justice and a Bumpy Week in Copyright Law
Labels: Copyright Clause, extraterritorial copyright infringements, federal bar association, golan v holder, maria pallante, Protect IP Act, register of copyrights, rogue websites, techdirt
Partner in Manhattan law firm Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City litigating in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Experienced trial and appellate practitioner. Author: Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2015-2016). The New York Law Journal called it "an indispensable guide". Serve on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, served as Chair of the Circuit Vice Presidents, Vice President for the Second Circuit and General Counsel. Member Board of Governors, National Arts Club. President, Network of Bar Leaders (2013-2014). Attorney advertising disclaimer - prior results do not guarantee success. The statements and opinions voiced here are my own and not of my law firm.