3 Count: Scanned Appeal

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1: Google Says Authors Can’t Sue Over Digital Books as Group

First off today, Don Jeffrey at Bloomberg reports that Google and the Authors Guild were recently before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals over their lawsuit, which has the Authors Guild suing Google over the search giant’s scanning of millions of books for the purpose of including them in Google Book Search.

At issue before the Appeals Court is whether or not the lawsuit can move forward as a class action lawsuit or if the authors will all have to sue individually. Google wants to overturn a lower court decision allowing it to be a class action case and the Authors Guild is defending that decision.

However, the court raised a separate question for both parties, the fair use defense Google might have for its book scanning. The court wondered if, perhaps, the fair use issue should be resolved before the class action status is determined. Google protested that idea saying that it would be difficult to argue fair use with so many differing works involved.

The authors are seeking $750 in damages per book, which would amount to about $3 billion total.

2: Popular ‘Miss America’ Song Dropped from Beauty Pageant After Late Composer’s Wife Launched Copyright Lawsuit

Next up today, the Associated Press reports that, in September, though a new Miss America will be crowned, it won’t be to the tune of the iconic “Miss America” song (which starts “There she is, Miss America”).

The reason is that Phylis Wayne, the wife of Bernie Wayne, the song’s late computer, filed a lawsuit against the organizers or the pageant claiming copyright infringement and breach of license.

The song, which was first used in 1955, has been pulled once before in 1980 after a similar licensing disagreement. However, it returned in 1985 due to popular demand.

3: Lawsuit Over Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ Features Romantic Twist

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a lawsuit against Madonna has taken a bizarre turn as one of the defendants is claiming to have co-authored the plaintiff’s song, that the plaintiff’s are actually co-infringers and that there’s even a romantic history between the parties.

The lawsuit was brought by VMG Salsoul, a company that owns the rights to the song “Love Break”, which was written by Vincent Montana around 1975. According to the lawsuit, using new technology in 2011, the company confirmed that the 1990 Madonna hit “Vogue” used a horn sample from “Love Break”, prompting the company to sue.

However, “Vogue” producer Robert Pettibone has hit back with a motion to dismiss saying that he actually co-authored the song that would become “Love Break” and that plaintifs in the case actually worked on various remixes of “Vogue”.

Pettibone also claims that the curent vice president of VMG’s parent company was involved in a five-year romantic relationship with him, and that the plaintiff’s actually worked for him for many years.

The lawsuit is scheduled for a possible jury trial next month but Pettibone wants the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds above and because, according to him, the plaintiffs do not have a copyright registration in the song, that there is no infringement and, even if there is, it’s too minimal to warrant liability.


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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