3 Count: Tie Game

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1: US High Court Won’t Decide Costco-Swatch Case

First off today, the Costco/Omega case decision has been handed down from the Supreme Court and the verdict was a tie. In a 4-4 split, the judges of the court were unable to rule on the case, thus allowing the Appeals Court ruling to stand. Omega had sued Costco claiming that the company had unlawfully imported copyrighted works, namely the logo on the face of their watches, for the purpose of reselling them at a lower price. Costco argued that the right of first sale authorized them to do so, however, Omega argued that first sale only applied to goods made within the U.S. and they still had the right to block the importing of the watches. The case ended in a tie because Justice Elena Kagan recused herself as she filed an amicus brief on the case before becoming a justice.

2: Japanese Publishers Accuse Apple of Selling Pirated E-Books

Next up today, Apple’s iPad and iBooks store may be an early success but four Japanese publishers have accused Apple of profiting from copyright infringing material, including Chinese translations of works by local authors Haruki Murakami and Keigo Higashino. The publishers are not accepting Apple’s policy of removing infringing material after notification, saying that since they profit from the sales, they have a higher responsibility. However, no lawsuit has been filed as of yet.

3: George Clinton Sues Black Eyed Peas for Copyright Infringement

Finally today, Funk icon George Clinton has sued the popular hiphop group the Black Eyed Peas for copyright infringement saying that two remixes of the group’s 2003 hit “Shut Up” uses elements from Parliament-Funkadelic 1979 song, “(Not Just) Knee Deep”. Clinton, who is the leader of Parliament-Funkadelic, joins Texas songwriter Bryan Pringle and Chicago singer Phoenix Phenom in suing the group as those two claim the group gained access to their demos and based their songs “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow” on them.


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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