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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” video has filed a lawsuit against both the makers of the film and YouTube’s parent company Google over, in part, alleged copyright violations. Garcia, who claims she was deceived in being in the video, is suing for copyright on the grounds that she owns the rights to her performance and never signed them away. She is claiming that YouTube failed to remove the video after she filed a notice of infringement and is also suing others who have reposted the video. The 14-minute movie has stirred controversy and been the cause of riots in the Middle East over its portrayal of Muslims. In order to win her case, Garcia will have to prove that actors’ performances are copyrightable, something that there is little case law on.
Next up today, Apple has been ordered to pay 520,000 yuan ($82,509) in a Chinese copyright lawsuit. The Encyclopedia of China Publishing House sued Apple and a Chinese subsidiary claiming that an app in the company’s App Store included all of the content from the publishers Chinese History’s third volume. Apple claimed that they didn’t produce the app but, according to the judge, they failed to prove it was developed by a third party, leading the court to rule that Apple had produced the app in house.
Finally today, Bruce Einhorn at Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Chinese company Alibaba Group has made getting one of its sites off of the U.S. Trade Representative’s “Notorious Markets” list a top priority. The site, an ecommerce mall named Taobao, remained on the list even after the company’s business-to-business site Alibaba was removed. The company has hired attorneys in the U.S. and is working with rightsholders to try and reduce the amount of infringement. This has included, at the request of the MPAA, requiring the sellers of movies to have government licenses and agreeing to cooperate on takedown procedures for pirated goods. The company’s sites are widely known as a haven for piracy and the company’s efforts have been widely welcomed by copyright holders in the U.S.
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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