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Intellectual Property, Copyright Infringement and Fair Use Provision making news

(Note: all provided links were valid at the time of posting, please understand that they do go bad over time)

Boeing agrees to settle for $615M in stolen Intellectual Property suit.

To settle the controversy around improperly obtaining secret documents from Lockheed Martin, Boeing agreed with the US Justice Department to pay a $615M penalty. The Wall Street Journal reported that Prosecutors also agreed not to further pursue Boeing or its executives as long as the company and its senior executives avoid running afoul of the law for the next two years. Read more “Boeing to pay $615M to settle 3-year federal probe: report” a Crain’s Chicago Business report: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=20605

China steps up to the plate to protect Intellectual Property.

A Chinese court backed patent protection for Pfizer Inc.’s blockbuster drug Viagra, a potentially landmark case for foreign companies seeking greater protection of intellectual property against the flood of fakes and knock-offs in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. Read more “Beijing Court Backs Patent Protection for Viagra,” a Wall Street Journal article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114919386653269006.html (link is for members only)

Note to corporate America: Don’t mess with the BSA.

With an estimated $34B in global PC software piracy losses in 2005, the BSA means business when it comes to accounting for legitimate software licenses. Read about “Risky Business/Tangling with the Business Software Alliance can mean big Problems,” by Joyce Slaton, Special to SF Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2002/02/07/bsa.DTL&hw=BSA&sn=001&sc=1000

A Weighty Issue: What is the true cost of copyright piracy?

Tinseltown, the music industry and the Business Software Alliance weigh in with estimates of losses ranging from $4.6 billion to $34 billion annually. Read about “Estimates of Copyright Piracy Losses Vary Widely,” a Wall Street Journal article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114919386653269006.html (link is for members only)

Publishers crack down on copyright infringement involving student coursepacks.

In February 2006, six publishers filed a lawsuit against the owner of a copy shop near University of Florida Gainesville, who was allegedly photocopying and selling copyrighted material without paying royalties or getting permission. A statement on the website of the Association of American Publishers says colleges and faculty can be held liable in certain types of copyright cases. Read about “Photocopying for college student ‘coursepacks’ draws copyright suit” a USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2006-02-08-copyshops-usat_x.htm

Most infringement happens at the photocopier

Texaco settles long-standing copyright infringement suit. In May 1995, Texaco settled a 10-year old infringement suit brought by 6 publishers who claimed that scientists had photocopied articles from scientific journals, to which Texaco subscribed, and had not paid royalties to the publishers for photocopying. The suit was decided by a federal district court in 1992, holding that companies in the for-profit sector which make copies of copyrighted scientific and technical journal articles violate Fair Use under the Copyright Act of 1976. Read more at: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/primary_materials/cases/texaco/settlement.html