Copyright vs. Freedom of the Press

Readers of this blog may know that I publish a daily Internet law news service (if you don't, you should subscribe, it's free). I don't usually recount the stories here, but today's issue features a remarkable number of noteworthy court decisions and developments.

I posted a reference to the Connecticut GPS case earlier. In addition, a A Munich court has issued its reasoning in a case launched by the music industry against Heise Online, an online German news site. The court had earlier ruled that a link to a site featuring DVD-copying software was unlawful. The court did not find that the publisher had a right to provide such links in accordance with freedom of the press as defined in Article 5 of the German constitution. Rather, the provisions of copyright law limit the freedom of the press, in particular in the current case in which the music industry's ownership interests had to be preserved.

That case alone deserves examination — throw in a French court's acquittal of ex-Yahoo CEO Timothy Koogle, a California decision on website scraping and contractual consent, a dismissal of a Time Warner suit against North Kansas City over that city's municipal Internet access plan, as well Vonage's allegation that Clearwire is blocking its VoIP service — and you get a busy day in an incredibly fast-moving area of the law.

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