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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Kelly Wilson, an animator that created a short film entitled The Snowman, has survived a key first round in her fight against Disney, where she claims the trailer for the movie Frozen infringed her film.
The trailer for the film, which was not from the actual movie, featured a snowman who lost his nose and dueled with an animal to get it back. Wilson said that the plot is virtually identical to her own film. Disney attempted to get the suit dismissed as a summary judgment, saying that the copied elements were not protectable. However, the judge has shot down that effort saying that the the similarities are too great to assume a jury couldn’t find Disney’s version to be a derivative.
The judge, however, did note that there are differences between the two works, including the different tone of the two pieces, but said that the similarities outweighed those differences. The ruling doesn’t end the lawsuit, but rather, means that it can head for a possible jury trial.
Next up today, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran and Joel Meares at The Age reports that Melbourne artist Jarrad Kennedy has sent cease and desist letters Sydney artist Hany Armanious and the city of Sydney over Armanious’ planned piece Pavilion, which features a milk crate that is 40x the normal size.
According to Kennedy, Pavilion is a copyright infringement on his 2005 work Court, which also featured an extra large milk crate. However, representatives of the city of Sydney are standing by Armanious, saying that he is an internationally-renouned artist that has never been accused of plagiarism. Furthermore, they add, milk crates are common in Sydney.
Copyright experts say that a lawsuit by Kennedy has little chance of success as no one can own the idea of making an extra large milk crate. Kennedy has declined to speak further on the matter until he hears back from Armanious.
Finally today, Andrew Sadauskas at Startup Smart reports that the social media ap Yo!, which allows users to send messages to one another with just one word, “Yo”, has filed a copyright notice with Apple seeking to get a competing app “Oi!”, which is similar but for the word “Oi!”, removed for copyright infringement.
So far no formal legal action has been taken, but Yo! is asking Apple to remove Oi! from the App Store over allegations it infringes their copyright. They call Oi! a direct clone of their app.
Yo! has received $1 million in funding from investors and has inspired many clones. Oi!, however, says it is not infringing and that Yo! “didn’t invent push notification.”
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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