Nate Anderson at Ars Technica is an excellent beat reporter. Here are a few of his most recent stories on copyright, if you’re interested in that kind of thing:
* We have Disney driving our copyright law, and the EU has the Beatles and other 60’s groups. When the copyright on 60’s hits was about to reach the 50 year copyright limit, the EU passed a 20 year extension that will gather a billion euros, mainly for record companies.
* There’s no shortage of bottom-feeding lawyers in the copyright game. Nate profiles one, Ken Ford, who has been running a scam for a porn company. Ken files thousands of John Doe subpoenas to intimidate possible illegitimate downloaders into settlements, even though he has no intention of pursuing those cases in court. He’s had mixed luck — a judge in his home state of West Virginia threw his cases out of court, but the DC circuit is slower to react, so he’s able to grift for a few months until the judges there catch on.
* In some good news, copyright troll Righthaven, the group that bought the right to sue from Las Vegas papers and went after bloggers who quoted a few words from news stories, is on the verge of having their assets seized after losing a case and being assigned legal fees.
* In some mixed news, the RIAA is finally getting some of its judgments adjusted. In a recent case, a $675,000 jury verdict ($22,500 per song) against a file sharer was cut down to $67,500, though that judgment was
stayed pending appeal overturned on appeal and is being appealed again.