• Giganews Granted Extra Time to Mount Defense

    In the copyright case brought against Usenet provider in the United States by Perfect 10, Judge Marilyn L. Huff of California's US District Court granted Giganews' request for an extension to review the case against them. Usenet newsgroups providers have long enjoyed safe harbor thanks to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), as do all ISPs in the United States. Will this lawsuit rock the foundations of the DMCA, or will Giganews emerge victorious?

    There isn't a whole lot of case law in the US that deals with the newsgroups or Usenet providers and copyright infringement, but there's enough that we have an idea of where this case may go. Recently, the Dutch copyright outfit BREIN successfully sued the Usenet site FTD, forcing the community to prevent users from indexing the location of binary files. But Giganews isn't an indexer, it's a provider - so let's look a bit further.

    There's Usenet.com, a former newsgroup provider, which was sued by the RIAA back in 2007. They were denied the ability to claim safe harbor, however, as it was discovered that the company, via tech support, actively assisted its customers engage in infringing activities - and it didn't help that the company also destroyed evidence. That bought the company no favors with the courts, and in 2009, the company was found guilty of copyright infringement by a US District Court in New York.

    There were many lessons learned from the Usenet.com case. Namely, never provide any technical support that's outside the scope of connecting to a news server or general account issues, and cooperate with the justice system to every degree demanded. Providing that things don't spiral out of control in this case, we expect that any discovery proceedings will reveal that indeed Giganews in all likelihood complies with this philosophy. But as we see in the latest court submission, things are indeed moving forward.

    Giganews was initially required to respond to the April 28 complaint by May 23 - a timeline the defense found was way too short to adequately digest the case against them. Subsequently, Gigagnews filed for an extension earlier this month, which was granted by the courts on May 19.

    "On May 18, 2011, the parties filed a motion for a 30 day extension of time for Defendants Giganews, Inc. and Livewire Services, Inc. ("Defendants") to respond to Plaintiff' complaint. (Doc. No. 6.) For good cause shown, the Court GRANTS the parties’ motion. Defendants are directed to file any response to Plaintiff’s complaint on or before June 22, 2011."

    We’ll keep a close eye for an update to this case, namely when Giganews responds. It’s going to be a tough case for Perfect 10 – there doesn’t appear to be any intentional copyright malice on the part of Giganews, and it also seems a legitimate attempt was made to find the material (Perfect 10 claims Giganews couldn't find the material). So long as the judge in this case also sees things that way, and there are no surprises, this case should end in favor of Giganews.

    Source: Slych
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. duke0102's Avatar
      duke0102 -
      It's impossible for a usenet provider to monitor every single file being uploaded especially if it is randomly named so as long as they don't screw up like usenet.com all should be well.... or the beginning of the end for us all
    1. godofhell's Avatar
      godofhell -
    1. dlukym's Avatar
      dlukym -
    1. heiska's Avatar
      heiska -
    1. infwb970's Avatar
      infwb970 -