3 Count: Can’t Say Pirate

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1: Judge: MPAA Can’t Call Hotfile Founders “Pirates” or “Thieves” at Trial

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the judge in the MPAA’s case against Hotfile has decided that the MPAA can not use terms such as “piracy”, “theft” or “steal” in their upcoming trial against the cyberlocker service Hotfile.

Though the service has already been found liable for vicarious copyright infringement, a trial is upcoming on the issue of damages. However, the judge has ordered the MPAA to avoid using “pejorative” words to describe Hotfile’s infringement, even though the MPAA notes those words are extremely common and are used in other court decisions.

The trial is scheduled to begin next week, barring a last-minute settlement.

2: Aimee Mann Wins First Round in Lawsuit Over Digital Music

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Aimee Mann has won an early round in her case against MediaNet, a company that licenses music to third parties, including Yahoo Music, Playlist.com and more.

According to Mann, the company was continuing to distribute her music without a proper license. MediaNet disagreed saying that it was authorized to do so but a judge disputed MediaNet’s assertion that it received an ongoing license after it’s agreement with Mann expired in 2006. According to the judge, MediaNet does not have a license to stream Mann’s pre-2003 and post-2006 works as they are not covered under the contract.

This prompted the judge to deny MediaNet’s motion to dismiss the case and the judge has also allowed Mann’s claims of secondary copyright infringement to go through. Those claims are related to MediaNet’s sale of her music. To make matters still worse for MediaNet, it’s widely believed that Mann is not the only musician in this position and many others may follow.

3: Artist Suing Over Statue of Liberty Stamp Mix-Up

Finally today, Hannah Dreier at the Associated Press reports that a sculptor, Robert Davidson, is suing the U.S. Postal Service over its “Forever” stamp that features the Statue of Liberty.

The stamps, which were first released in 2011, didn’t feature the actual Statue of Liberty but, instead, used an image of a replica that exists outside of a hotel in Las Vegas. While the statues are similar, the Vegas one has a more “sultry” face than the original and was preferred for those reasons. The Postal Service says it picked the photo from a photography service and did not learn of the error until a stamp magazine ran an expose.

The case echoes another lawsuit the Postal Service lost against a the sculptor of the Korean War Veterans Memorial won more than half a million dollars after it was featured on a stamp without his authorization. To date though, the liberty stamp has been printed more than 5 billion times.

Suggestions

That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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