First off today, Charlie Osborn at Cnet reports that BitTorrent tracker IsoHunt has lost its appeal against the MPAA and will have to continue using the filters that they have been for three years now or take the site offline.
In 2010 IsoHunt was sued by the movie studios alleging that the site infringed upon their copyrights. The lower court issued an injunction ordering IsoHunt to either add filters to the site or shut down. IsoHunt chose to add filters but appealed the injunction to the Ninth Circuit, which has upheld the order.
IsoHunt’s owner, Gary Fung, attempted to claim that his site was protected under Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor provisions but the court ruled that Fung had “red flag” knowledge of infringements, generated advertising revenue through the site and was active in inducing infringements. There is no word if Fung plans on appealing to the Supreme Court.
Next up today, actor Emma Thompson’s screenplay “Effie” found its way into a copyright debate after another author, Gregory Murphy, claimed to the media that it infringed a similar screenplay he write. This prompted Thompson to sue Murphy, seeking a declaratory judgment that her film was indeed legal.
However, the case went straight into pleadings, which prompted the judge to review the two works. After doing so, the judge sided with Thompson and said that, while the two works are based on the same historical figure, Effie Gray, they share no dialog and no characters that aren’t historical figures.
The judge continued by saying that the few other similarities that did exist did not rise to the standard of “substantially similar” prompting the ruling in favor of Thompson. Effie is currently in post-production and is scheduled for release in May.
Finally today, a judge has ruled in favor of Warner Bros. in the ongoing Superman copyright termination case, indicating that the company owns all of the character’s rights..
The case started when heirs to the two Superman creators attempted to terminate agreements that were signed when the first comics were published. Heirs to one of those creators, Jerome Siegel, were found by an Appeals Court to have reached an agreement in 2001 with Warner Bros., which means they can not file for copyright termination due to time restrictions.
The lower judge ruled that the agreement was enforceable but it appears the heirs’ attorney may be preparing another attack, claiming that DC has violated the agreement and that it should be terminated, possibly opening the doors for another run at copyright termination.
In the meantime, Warner Bros. is moving ahead with its “Man of Steel” movie, which is due out in June.
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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