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First off today, Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the Obama “Hope” poster, has settled his long-running legal battle with the Associated Press. The AP, whose reporter took the photo that the poster was based on, claimed that the poster was an infringement but Fairey had claimed it was a fair use. However, the two sides agreed to disagree on the legal issues and Fairey has agreed to never use another AP photo in his artwork again. Also, there was an undisclosed financial settlement but we have no idea which way it went or for how much. A separate lawsuit involving a manufacturer of T-shirts with the image is continuing separately.
Next up today, Sony has launched legal action against George Hotz and others who released the key for the PS3 that could, in the future, enable the running of any software on the system, including pirated games. Hotz, who is best known for breaking the security on the iPhone, is named alongside of 100 others associated with the hacking group fail0verflow, which was responsible for the leak. Hotz has said that he is confident the legal action won’t succeed and is ready to defend himself against it.
Finally today, in Canada, record labels have agreed to pay some $45 million for copyright infringement. The lawsuit stems from a “pending list” in which labels would use tracks on compilation CDs and, rather than paying the royalties, put the track on the list to be paid later. Artists, fed up with the unpaid royalties sued the labels. Though the damages could have been as high as $6 billion, the two sides agreed on a settlement that would bring all existing pending list claims up to code. However, it seems that the practice itself is unlikely to change.
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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