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First off today, Mike Suszek at Joysiq reports that Gearbox Software has filed a copyright and trademark lawsuit against 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment, over a reveal of a new Duke Nukem game, Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction.
3D Realms is the original creator of the Duke Nukem franchise, producing many of the most popular games in the series. But after production of Duke Nukem Forever stalled, Gearbox software was brought in to complete and release the game, which they did in 2011.
More recently, 3D Realms released a teaser site for an upcoming game entitled Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, one done in cooperation with Interceptor Entertainment. However, Gearbox is suing, alleging that 3D Reals signed over all trademarks and copyrights in the character to them in 2011. 3D Realms had previously tried to sue Gearbox over allegedly unpaid royalties but later dropped the suit and apologized.
Next up today, Out-Law.com writes that a German court has ruled against the cyberlocker service Netload, saying that it is liable for copyright infringement because it failed to quickly remove infringing works from its service after being properly notified.
The lawsuit was filed by ZeniMax Germany, the German rightsholder in the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which claims to have sent Netload takedown notices for the game hosted on its service but only saw the game removed after several months.
Under EU law, service providers, like Netload, are protected from liability in a fashion similar to the U.S. However, the court ruled that, since Netload did not respond quickly, it no longer qualified for that protection. However, it is unclear if Zenimax will collect because Netload is already being liquidated.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that voice actor Hank Azaria has won a lawsuit against a fellow actor, Craig Bierko, and has won the copyright interest in Jim Brockmire, a fake baseball announcer he played in a 2010 video for Funny or Die.
Bierko sued Azaria claiming that Bierko got the idea for the character from a role he’s been doing among friends for years as a party trick. He claims that, in 1997 Azaria approached him about doing a commercial project around the character and he refused. However, he claims that Azaria went ahead in 2010 with the Funny or Die video.
The courts, however, ruled that Bierko’s character was too vague and not fixed into a tangible medium of expression, meaning it didn’t qualify for copyright protection. However, Azaria’s version was more specific, listing several key traits, and the video itself to prove that the work is fixed.
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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