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First off today, photographer David Strick has sued the L.A. Times claiming that the paper is unlawfully using hundreds of his photos. The two sides had worked together to promote Strick’s behind-the-scenes photos of various TV and movie sets. However, the deal soured in 2010 when the Times refused to renew his contract but continued to use his existing photos. Strick, who was never a full-time employee, claims that’s a breach of the terms of his contract and has sued for copyright, claiming to still control full rights in his images. The Times claims that, by uploading the images via their CMS, Strick gave them permission to use the photos even after the deal ended.
Next up today, record labels are bracing as artists who recorded their music in the late seventies begin filing for termination of their copyright agreements. Laws that took effect in 1978 enabled artists to seek termination of their contracts and return control of the copyright to themselves after 35 years. To do that, however, artists need to file for the termination two years before they wish to seek it and within five years of eligibility. That means the artists who recorded in 1978 are beginning to file terminations now for possible completion in 2013. The record labels are considering a legal battle, alleging that recordings are a work for hire, but legal scholars are dubious about those assertions.
Finally today, GigaOm author Janko Roettgers penned a piece to warn Hollywood that the factors are ripe for piracy to make a comeback. Between a dubious economy, price hikes on Netflix, restrictions on Hulu and other factors, he believes it to be possible that many consumers, eager to trim their entertainment budgets, may turn to piracy. The article prompted a response from the MPAA, which accused Roettgers of claiming piracy to be acceptable.
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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