Wednesday News: Dallas Buyers Club, piracy, and copyright trolling; the Canadian book market; and hilarious Beyoncé boyfriend test
While Bradley would not speculate on Dallas Buyers Club’s next move, he said there were a number of courses of action available, including issuing legal proceedings against individuals to claim damages for copyright infringement. Without setting a figure for damages, Bradley said a court could take several factors into account when setting the figure, including economic losses, “flagrancy, volume and frequency of infringement [and] prior conduct” of the infringer. However, he said claims Dallas Buyers Club would make similar claims to those pursued overseas were merely “speculation”.
For its part, iiNet also welcomed the “positive result”, saying the legal process had shed light on the practices of some rights holders in targeting individuals with threatening letters to demand damages for piracy — a process known as “speculative invoicing”.
“By going through the process we’ve been able to ensure that our customers will be treated fairly and won’t be subjected to the bullying that we have seen happen elsewhere,” said iiNet CEO David Buckingham. –CNET
Since November, when the lawsuit was initially filed, there’s been some back and forth in the lawsuit (and even the main named plaintiff has changed). In the first amended complaint [pdf] that was filed last month with new lead plaintiff, John Blaha, the claims about violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act have been removed, to focus mainly on violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and abuse of process. The TCPA bans autodialing telemarketers, and Pietz is trying to argue that Rightscorp’s autodialers fall under this law. The abuse of process claims focus on how Rightscorp got access to various people to shakedown, using DMCA 512(h) subpoenas. This is the process — which courts have clearly rejected — by which copyright trolls think they can issue subpoenas to ISPs about potential infringers, without first filing a lawsuit. Every few years, copyright trolls think they’ve newly discovered this loophole even though the courts have rejected it. The lawsuit has also added key Rightscorp clients, Warner Bros. and BMG, as defendants as well. –Techdirt
While Mystery/Detective and Thriller continue to sell well in both formats, Romance saw a notable decline in print sales, with ebooks representing 9% of consumer purchases (compared to 7% print). It is important to remember that bestsellers can drastically impact an entire category; for example, in 2012 Romance had a dramatic peak due to the infamous book that everyone loves to hate, Fifty Shades of Grey—and it’s titles like this that may explain the notable shift in format preference among Romance book buyers. While discussing the new “hybrid reader” at Tech Forum 2015, Mary Alice Elcock, VP Marketing and Publisher Relations at BitLit, confessed: “I often find myself using my e-reader when I’m not keen on other people knowing that I’m reading… 50 Shades of Grey…Twilight.” Perhaps cover-shy, many romance readers gravitated to the ebook format and “by 2010, romance novels were the fastest growing part of the ebook market.” Ebooks alone may be responsible for the decline in mass-market sales, which once characterized the genre and often featured a distressed woman clinging to Fabio Lanzoni on the cover. –Booknet Canada