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First off today, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg writes that the U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. The case centers around Supap Kirtsaeng who was sued by publisher John Wiley & Sons for, without permission, importing textbooks made in his native Thailand and selling them in the U.S. at a profit. The case is similar to the recent Costco case, which pitted the wholesaler against Omega watches. Omega claimed Costco’s importing of watches bought overseas for resale violated their copyright (on a logo on the watch). The Second Circuit agreed with Omega but the case went to the Supreme Court, which was deadlocked 4-4 (due to Justice Elena Kagan abstaining due to prior involvement in the case). However, Kagan will likely be providing the deciding vote in this case, which will determine if right of first sale, the right of the copyright holder to only profit from the first sale of a work, applies to works made overseas.
Net up today, Leo Kelion at the BBC reports that the trial between Oracle and Google is scheduled to start toady. At issue is Google’s use of the JAVA programming language in Android, which Oracle claims violates both their copyrights and patents. Of particular interest is the question of whether APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) can be copyrighted. APIs allow programs to talk to one another and are commonly used, creating the possibility many applications will have to be relicensed. The trial is expected to last 8 weeks.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter writes that Teller, of Penn & Teller fame, is suing fellow magician Gerard Dogge for copyright infringement over a YouTube video that showed Dogge performing a similar trick to one that Penn & Teller are well known for. Dogge reportedly posted the video with an offer to share how the trick was done to anyone who paid $3,050, Teller filed a takedown notice against the video and attempted to work out an arrangement with Dogge to keep the secret safe but the two could not come to terms, prompting the lawsuit. Magic tricks are copyrightable as pantomimes and Teller did register the trick in 1983. Teller is suing for both copyright infringement and unfair competition.
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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