3 Count: Eye of the Survivor

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1: Appeals Court Rules for Sylvester Stallone in Copyright Claim Over “Expendables” Idea

First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Sylvester Stallone and the producers of “The Expendables”, freeing them of a lawsuit filed by writer Marcus Webb, who claimed that the movie was an infringement of his earlier work “The Cordoba Caper”.

According to the court, the two works were not substantially similar and were actually very different movies, The Expendables being a traditional action film and Webb’s movie being more of a heist caper.

The ruling upholds a lower court ruling in December that said much the same, bringing an almost certain end to the case.

2: Sony Music Sued Over ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Song Royalties

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that two of the founding members of the band Survivor, which is best known for its hit single “Eye of the Tiger” have filed a lawsuit against their label, Sony, over what it considers unpaid royalties on digital downloads.

Much as with other bands, including “Weird Al” Yankovich, Survivor claims it was paid on digital downloads as if they were album sales, rather than licenses of their music. This means they were paid an approximately 15% royalty instead of a 50% on all downloads.

The band also claims that, when the confronted Sony about this issue, the label threatened them with the “nuclear option” of pulling their music out of iTunes and other music stores. Survivor, however, argues that this proves such downloads are licenses as, according to them, Sony would not be able to threaten that if such distribution were sales. As such, they are suing both for the unpaid royalties and to prevent Sony from pulling their music out of online catalogs.

3: Playwright Sues to Salvage Play Deconstructing ‘Three’s Company’

Finally today, Patrick Healy at The New York Times reports that playwright David Adjmi has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the TV show “Three’s Company”, DLT Entertainment, in a bid to revive his plans for touring with a production of his that explores the darker side of the concept.

“Three’s Company” was a sitcom that ran from 1977 to 1984 and featured a man pretending to be gay so he could live with two women and get the approval of his landlord. Adjmi’s play explored the same concept, albeit with different characters and a much darker tone, one dealing with drug addiction and graphic dialogue.

Adjmi’s play, entitled “3C”, ran for about two months off broadway with plans to go on tour. However, laywers representing DLT sent Adjmi a cease and desist, claiming the show infringed at least 17 elements from the show. Adjmi initially agreed to halt new productions of the show but is now suing to ask the court to declare that his show does not infringe upon the original and open the door for new productions.

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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