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First off today, Julianne Pepitone of CNN Money reports that video game maker EA has filed a lawsuit against its competitor Zynga alleging copyright infringement. According to the lawsuit, Zynga released a game entitled “The Ville” which was similar to EA’s game “The Sims Social”, which in turn is based on EA’s popular “The Sims” franchise. The lawsuit alleges that the similarities go beyond mere cloning of non-copyrightable elements and crosses the line into infringement. The lawsuit comes at the end of a very bad week for Zynga, which saw its stock plummet over 40% following a less-than-stellar earnings report. Zynga has responded to the lawsuit saying that they are disappointed that this was the response EA chose to make to the game.
Next up today, Megan Geuss at Ars Technica reports that a section leaked from the latest draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty indicates the U.S. is seeking more restrictive copyright exemptions than many previously hoped. The TPP is a treaty between the U.S. and various Pacific rim countries that includes some copyright portions. Though the treaty is being negotiated in secret, the U.S. recently announced that it was working in language on copyright exemptions, in hopes to prevent an ACTA-like backlash. However, the leaked paragraphs indicate that the exemptions sought by the U.S. and Australia follow the international “three-step test”, which is often more restrictive than local laws. Other countries, including New Zealand, Chile, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam are pushing for more open rules. However, the agreement is just a draft and still being actively worked on, meaning the verbiage can change.
Finally today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that graphic designer Adam J. D’Addario is suing Yuengling Beer of alleged copyright infringement of a label he designed for the brewery. According to the lawsuit, D’Addario was contracted to design a label for the brand’s Oktoberfest beer but was never paid for his work when the company went with a different, but very similar label instead. According to D’Addario, he’s unclear why his relationship with the brewer deteriorated, noting that he’s designed “almost every” label for the company in the last 20 years. D’Addario is seeking $80,000 for lost compensation and $150,000 in statutory damages.
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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