3 Count: Super Victory

3 Count: Super Victory Image

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1: Warner Bros. Wins Superman Copyright Battle Using Facebook Case As Precedent

First off today, Laura Hudson at Wired reports that Warner Brothers has scored a major victory against the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have reversed a lower court ruling granting Siegel’s heirs partial copyright in Superman saying that the heirs have to honor a 2001 agreement they had struck with Warner.

The heirs had sought to terminate the copyright in Superman, having the rights to the Man of Steel revert back to them. Copyright termination is allowed under the law after a period of time, but the Appeals Court found that the heirs had waived that right in 2001 when they reached a mediated settlement in the case.

However, the heirs claim that the settlement was never finalized and was not valid. But the Appeals Court, looking to a similar case involving Facebook, ruled that the agreement was valid as it had been agreed to, even if it had not been executed.

The ruling gives Warner Brothers complete control over the character, having won their case against the heirs of Superman’s other creator, Joseph Shuster, three months ago.

2: GameStick Removed, Returned To Kickstarter After Copyright Complaint

Next up today, Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch writes that GameStick, a Kickstarter project that aimed to create an entire game console that was the size of a flash drive, was temporarily removed from the site following a DMCA takedown notice.

However, despite much speculation, the issue was not with the device itself, but with the UI demonstration the creators used as a placeholder. After the creators of the device altered the demonstration, Kickstarter restored the campaign, which has now surpassed $300,000 in funding.

The Kickstarter campaign ends in 20 days.

3: Study: Copyright Takedown Notices are Ineffective at Stopping Piracy

Finally today, Ian Steadman at Wired UK reports that researchers from Northeastern University have released a study saying that copyright-oriented takedowns, in particular domain seizures and DMCA takedowns, are not effective at combatting piracy.

According to the study, while such removals have a short-term impact on the availability of pirated works, pirates are able to simply repost works at a faster pace than they can be removed, leading to a “cat and mouse” game for copyright holders.

The report went on to say that a more effective path involved business strategies that target the motivations behind piracy. The report also cited the closure of Megaupload as an example of a takedown that was ineffective in reducing piracy, saying it failed to reduce the total number of shared files but spread those files out across more domains.


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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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