3 Count: Play Them Off…

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: Photographer stakes claim to Obama poster

First off today, the Shepherd Fairey case has just gotten more interesting as the original photographer of the image in question, Mannie Garcia, claims he never assigned the rights in the photo to the AP and has filed papers stating as such. The AP, however, claims that he was an employee of the company at the time and the photo is a work for hire.

The case centers around the Obama “Hope” poster, which Fairey created based on Garcia’s photograph. According to Fairey, his use of the image was a fair use and that it doesn’t matter who owns the image, the Associated Press, however, now has another obstacle to overcome in its case.

The AP is said to be investigating Garcia’s claim but believes that they have the rights to the image in question.

2: Zookz: A license to infringe?

Next up today, a new startup based in Antigua, Zookz, is causing quite a stir by allowing members to download unlimited movies or music for $10 per month or $18 for both. Though it might seem as if they are taunting a giant, they say they are covered because, due to a WTO ruling, Antigua is authorized to ignore U.S. intellectual property to the tune of $21 million per year.

However, though copyright holders don’t dispute the WTO ruling, they do say that Zookz is not covered by it. Antigua would have to seek permission from the WTO to take specified actions and no one has made a request for Zookz or any other company for that matter. There is also a dispute as to exactly how the $21 million would be calculated and the ruling would still prevent Zookz from infringing the rights of other nation’s copyrights.

The end result is that it seems as if Zookz theory is a bit far-fetched, but a noble effort of creativity nonetheless.

3: Warner Music Group Deletes Keyboard Cat Track from YouTube

Finally today, Keyboard cat, the famous cat who “plays off” people in dumb or funny YouTube clips may have seen the end to his “collaboration” with Hall & Oates. Warner Music Group, the owners of the label, demanded the removal of a keyboard cat video that featured the band and their music video for “You Make My Dreams Come True”.

The mashup had been one of the more popular keyboard cat videos and now it is springing up on other sites, giving way to the idea that the Streisand effect may be taking hold here, making the video more popular than ever.


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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