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Comcast says copyright threat to TorrentFreak an “error”

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Internet giant Comcast(s cmcsa) claims that a legal threat directed at TorrentFreak was a mistake and that it has told the file-sharing news site to disregard it:

“This notice was sent in error, and we have advised TorrentFreak to disregard it.  We apologize for any confusion,” said a Comcast spokesperson by email.

A controversy over the legal notice flared up this morning when TorrentFreak reported that a “brand protection company” had sent it a menacing cease-and-desist letter instructing the site to take down a fax related to an ongoing court case.

The legal threat appeared to be based on no legitimate grounds since court documents are a matter of public record and are generally not subject to copyright protection. And, in any case, TorrentFreak appeared to be clearly protected by “fair use” law which provides a shield from copyright in cases of legitimate news reporting.

The situation is ironic because Comcast, in the court case, has occupied the role of good guy — protecting subscribers from what appeared to be a shakedown racket run by a law firm. Ultimately, the incident appears to another incident of over-zealous lawyers attempting to protect their clients and harming them instead.

 

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