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First off today, Rob Markman at MTV reports that the surviving members of the Beastie Boys have filed a lawsuit against Monster Energy drinks claiming that they did not have a license from the band to use samples of their music in a recent promotional video. According to the lawsuit, Monster used various tracks from the band as part of their “Ruckus in the Rockies” promo video, which was used to advertise a snowboarding competition. One of the band’s founding members, Adam Yaunch, known as MCA, died in May and stated in his will that the band’s music was never to be used in commercials. This helped prompt the surviving members of the band, along with his estate, to file suit. Monster has not responded to the lawsuit.
Next up today, Timothy Lee of Ars Technica reports that a judge in Washington DC has sided with AF Holdings, a shell company suing some 1,058 “John Doe” plaintiffs who allegedly shared the pornographic film “Popular Demand”, ordering ISPs to turn over information about the suspected infringers. Judge Beryl Howell set aside objections by the ISPs, including jurisdictional issues, questions of joinder (the binding of the defendants into one lawsuit) and the tactics of the plaintiff (including concerns the plaintiff has no desire to litigate the cases and is only seeking to pressure settlements out of defendants), arguments that other judges had tossed similar cases on. This sets the stage for a showdown at the Appeals Court level, which, while not binding, will likely set precedent that could shape how other circuits interpret the rules.
Finally today, Heidi MacDonald of Publishers Weekly reports that artist Tony Moore, who did the artwork for the first eight issues of “The Walking Dead” comic is now suing Robert Kirkman, the writer of the books, for half of the copyright in the title. The comics, which went on to become a hit TV series, have been a source of contention for the two. Moore had previously sued for profits he felt he was owed under a deal he signed with Kirkman and Kirkman has also filed a countersuit, claiming that Moore was actually overpaid. The new lawsuit was filed in Federal court, which has jurisdiction over copyrights, and, according to Moore, is an extension of the first one, which was filed in state court.
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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