mass p2p lawsuit commenced in canada

I was surprised to see Michael Geist’s post that a new lawsuit is targeting thousands of individuals for unlawfully sharing copyrighted films through peer-to-peer networks. I had thought approach had lost its appeal some time ago. Go and read Mr. Geist’s analysis of how he thinks things will proceed. I have nothing to add on that front. I am curious, however, why it seems (as far as I can tell) that only one carrier, TekSavvy Solutions, seems to have been targeted. I would have thought that carriers having much larger shares of the ISP market would result in a much larger number of prospective defendants and therefore much more rewarding. Then again, I imagine such carriers might also have a larger legal budget. Still, it does seem rather curious to focus only on one, comparatively small, ISP.

Stikeman Elliott appears to be on for Teksavvy (from what I see on the motion record), while Brauti Thorning Zibarras is on for Voltage Pictures, the plaintiff (better known as the firm who launched the defamation claim against Youtube and others on behalf of “Officer Bubbles”).

Will be interesting to see how things play out (unless of course you’re one of the poor souls that are in Voltage’s crosshairs).

long live the revolution! and lawsuits!

Someone in China got upset that the state censors there required cuts to Ang Lee’s film Lust, Caution. From Reuters:

Dong Yanbin, a Ph.D student at the China University of Political
Science and Law in Beijing, had filed a suit against the nation’s film
censor, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT),
for infringing upon his “consumer rights,” the Beijing Times said.

Power grows out of a statement of claim. Its the new Mao.

pushing daisies, amelie and ip claims

I don’t watch much TV at all but by coincidence caught part of this new show, called Pushing Daisies. Overall, I liked what I saw – interesting premise, well told plot, good acting, and keen attention to pacing, cinematography (if one can use that term for a TV show), music, colour, etc.

But something struck me within the first 10 minutes of watching it – something oddly familiar. Not the stories, but rather, the whole look and feel of how it was presented – like: the sometimes oddly surrealistic but realistic presentation of scenes (exaggerated or bright colours, quirky but cute interiors (and exteriors); unusual and repeated focus on otherwise insignificant details (ages down to the hour of each character – oh and also by an omnipresent unknown third party voice over storyteller); oddly familiar patterns of speech – sometimes quick and rapid bursts of somewhat deadpan humour; curious static shots of people or things with some sort of special effect, like zooming away or seeing through something; oddly familiar patterns of music; eccentric but lovable characters like Chuck’s two aunts; eccentric backstories of characters (Chuck’s aunts again – who had wonderful careers as synchonized swimmers until devastingly felled by contaminated kitter litter); oh, and of course, oddly tragic (albeit someone humourous) events that people undergo (see the aunts) as well as oddly humourous but sometimes well-deserved deaths (like that of a rather fat thieving undertaker).

And then I suddenly realized that what I was watching was a show that, for lack of a better word, had (intentionally or unintentionally) “borrowed” the entire look and feel of “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain”. Not the story, mind you, not that at all. But rather a multitude of little bits and pieces that all go into how a story is told.

I marvelled, for a moment, at what a great job the creators of the show had done in transposing the look and feel of that movie into the series, and wondered how much effort (if any) went into deliberately attempting to create or invoke the look, feel and mood of Amélie (which, by the way, they do quite well). Then, needless to say (given my profession), I ruminated about which intellectual property laws, if any, could the owners of Amélie used to protect the “look and feel” of their film. Certainly most people (even non-lawyers) are familiar with the Apple v. Microsoft look and feel case back in the 90s (which tried to base a claim in copyright and didn’t get very far if I recall correctly). It would be interesting to see how that would play out in the context of something like a movie or similar work. Not that I’d like to see that happen to Pushing Daisies – its already tough enough to find decent shows…