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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that The Baltimore Ravens have found a found an unlikely ally in trying to shut down a copyright infringement claim by a logo designer: The MPAA.
The case dates back to 1996 when artist Frederick Bouchat submitted a logo design to the Baltimore Ravens in honor of their first season in the city. The logo the team used ended up being very similar, similar enough to prompt Bouchat to sue and have a jury agree that it was an infringement. However, Bouchat was unable to secure damages because he had not registered his work timely and could not prove any actual damages.
But the case has continued as the Ravens have used the logo, which was replaced in 1998, in other ways including documentaries and video games. Bouchat sued over that to have most of those claims tossed on fair use grounds. However, Bouchat is appealing that decision to the Fourth Circuit but the MPAA has filed an amicus brief saying that a ruling against the team could harm the making of other documentaries that use copyrighted works.
Meanwhile, Bouchat’s arguments regarding the Raven’s licensing the logo to a video game, which were not tossed out, will continue regardless of the appeal.
Next up today, Chase Hoffberger at Mashable (via The Daily Dot) writes that YouTuber Jon McKelzey has been battling a YouTube policy that makes it impossible for him to get a seemingly legitimate video restored after a copyright takedown.
The issue began when McKelzey posted a review of the latest 12″ single by Eric B. and Rakim. YouTube flagged the review immediately due to its inclusion of snippets of the music and, after a YouTube policy change, McKelzey was able to appeal directly to Universal, which owns the rights to the tracks, but the label filed a full DMCA takedown notice.
McKelzey responded again with a series counter notifications but they have all been denied because, according to YouTube, it “Has a contractual obligation to this specific copyright owner that prevents us from reinstating videos in such circumstances.”
It is unclear what other companies YouTube has this kind of arrangement with, but McKelzey worries that he has picked up a strike and may have his account suspended if there is another incident.
Finally today, Dave Neal at the Inquirer writes that the European Commission has heralded efforts by the Linked Content Coalition (LCC) to streamline licensing across the European Union.
The group, which includes representatives from news industries as well as major record labels and movie studios, aims to create a cross-Europe licensing system that will make it easier for parties to legitimate obtain access to content throughout the EU. To that end, they have drafted an initial framework that is up for peer review.
According to a representative, the framework aims to make the process of license aquisition as automated as possible and reduce barriers to entry for those who want to use creative works legitimately.
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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