3 Count: Turnabout

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Shahanda Moursy sues the RIAA

First off today, Sandray Moursy, a defendant in one of the many RIAA file sharing cases, has filed a counter-suit North Carolina against Vivendi Universal, Warner Music, Sony BMG, Motown Records and the RIAA itself as well as two of their investigation agencies, Safenet and MediaSentry.

Moursy is claiming that the RIAA and the record labels have been, “abusing the federal court judicial system for the purpose of waging a public relations and public threat campaign targeting digital file sharing activities,” and that, as part of this campaign, they have used, “An unlicensed private investigator, MediaSentry… which receives a bounty to invade private computers and private computer networks to obtain information.”

It is unclear if and, probably, unlikely that this counter-suit will be successful since the information Mediasentry “invaded” to obtain is publicly shared on file sharing networks, but it is very interesting, and unusual, to see a defendant fight back so hard against the RIAA.

2: Amazon lets publishers and writers disable Kindle 2’s read-aloud feature

Amazon, though publicly saying that it does not agree with the copyright interpretation of the Author’s Guild regarding the new text-to-speech feature of the Kindle, has decided to back down and let publishers decide on a book-by-book basis whether the feature should be turned on.

Amazon says that the move is a bid to make authors more at ease with the feature saying that, “We strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver’s seat.”

No word at this time on how the “feature” will be added or if a software update to existing Kindle 2s will be necessary.

3: J.Lo sues stroller company for $30 million

Finally today, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have filed suit against Silver Cross Ltd, a store with outlets in the U.S. and UK. According to their complaint, the company used an image of the couple as part of their promotional efforts for a baby stroller that they sold.

The couple is seeking $30 million in damages for violation of civil code, misappropriation of the common law right of publicity, false designation of origin, dilution of common law trademark, unjust enrichment, and copyright infringement.

It is unclear if the photo was taken by Lopez or Anthony or if they have copyright in the photo itself. More on this suit to follow.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll 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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