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First off today, members of the band The Velvet Underground have sued the Any Warhol Foundation claiming that they have illegally used a banana design on various commercial products without the band’s permission. The image, which was originally created by Warhol himself for the group, became a symbol of The Velvet Underground after the band used it on their first album in 1967. According to the band, the image doesn’t have copyright protection because neither Warhol nor anyone involved with the work sought to copyright it (a requirement before 1978) and now it is commonly associated with the band rather than Warhol. As such, they accuse foundation, which was created after Warhol’s death in 1987, of using the image to artificially imply the band’s approval of the products it’s placed on. The band is seeking a declaration that the foundation has no copyright interest in the logo and an injunction against its use.
Next up today, the EMI (along with, according to some reports, the other three major record labels) has filed suit against the State of Ireland over alleged foot-dragging in crafting a statutory system for dealing with alleged file sharers. According to the filing, the government has, for some time, been promising a “three strikes” system for dealing with suspected file sharers but has failed to produce as much as a draft. According to EMI, such a system is a requirement of EU law and the delay in implementation has cost the industry significant amounts of money in the country. The Irish government, on the other hand, has promised to release its proposal later this month.
Finally today, the University of Minnesota has filed suit against New Zealand-based website operator Andrew Dobson over his creation of a “cheat sheet” designed to help people obtain a desirable score on a psychological test created by the university. The test, known as the MMRI, is a 500-question long test used to diagnose mental disorders and is commonly a part of psychiatric evaluations. Dobson allegedly posted copies of the test along with a guide for “normalizing” your score on it. However, doctors fear that pre-exposure to the test can skew the results, even without attempts to deceive it.
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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