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First off today, the Associated Press has filed a lawsuit against article distribution service Meltwater claiming that the company has been illegally distributing AP content as part of its service. Meltwater, which provides media monitoring services, was called a “parasite” in the filing, saying that it was able to offer lower prices to its customers because it wasn’t paying the licensing fees for the content it was distributing. Similar lawsuits in Norway and the UK found that Meltwater should be paying a license though this is the first one in the U.S. The move comes as the AP and other news agencies founded NewsRight, a clearing house to monitor and pursue copyright infringement online.
Next up today, one of the co-creators Ghost Rider, Gary Friedrich, has lost a counterclaim filed by Marvel and is now ordered to pay $17,000 in damages to the company for sketches and using the name “Ghost Rider” as a trademark. The lawsuit started after Friedrich claimed that the rights to Ghost Rider had transfered to him following some faulty copyright registrations. Friedrich lost that claim after Marvel pointed to legalese Friedrich had signed with his checks, but Marvel went on to counter-sue claiming that Friedrich’s use of the Ghost Rider trademark and creation of sketches of the character sold at conventions were a violation of the company’s copyright and trademark, countering the industry’s typical policy of allowing such sketches.
Finally today, the Dutch government has announced that it is moving to allow a broader definition of fair use within its country, one inspired more by the U.S. standard rather than that of the European Commission. Fair use in the U.S. is much more flexible than the restrictive standards in the EU and the government is hoping to bring their rules more in line with the U.S. to enable mashups, parodies and other forms of remixing that are current not allowed. There is no word when legislation on the new rules may be considered or how they will work with the existing rules formed by the European Commission.
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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