3 Count: Settled Waters

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1: AP, News Aggregator Meltwater End Copyright Dispute

First off today, Bernard Vaughan at Reuters reports that the Associated Press and Meltwater have settled their ongoing copyright dispute, putting to an end what many saw as one of the most important fair use tests in recent years.

Meltwater is a subscriber-only news clipping service that helps clients find relevant news coverage about their company or industry. AP accused Meltwater of copyright infringement for clipping portions of AP stories and sending them to subscribers, prompting the lawsuit. Previously, a judge had agreed with the AP but Meltwater had promised to appeal.

The two sides released separate statements announcing the settlement saying that there was more benefit to working together to “develop new markets” than there was to litigating. The two sides no plan on partnering with each other since the litigation is behind them.

2: Viacom Demands New Judge in YouTube Copyright Fight

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Viacom has filed yet another appeal to the Second Circuit in its case against YouTube, but this one has a twist, in addition to overturning a lower court ruling, Viacom wants a new judge.

Viacom sued YouTube and its parent company Google alleging that, in the early years of the site, it was a haven for copyright infringing material. The lower court first ruled that YouTube was protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act but the appeals court overturned that. The lower court again ruled in favor of YouTube after getting the case again, prompting this latest Viacom appeal.

In this second round, Viacom is alleging that YouTube is liable because it was “willfully blind” to the infringements that took place but the judge, citing Viacom’s lack of evidence that YouTube was aware of a specific infringement, issued a summary judgement in favor of YouTube. Viacom is hoping not only that the appeals court will overturn that decision, but grant them a new judge to take over the case.

3: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: Literary Agent Addresses Allegation of Stealing Copyright

Finally today, in another story by Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire, literary agent Samuel Pinkus has responded, albeit indirectly, to a headline-grabbing lawsuit filed by author Harper Lee, which accused Pinkus of tricking her into signing away her copyright in her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Pinkus, who split with his previous employer, literary agency McIntosh & Otis (M&O), is currently battling them in court (in addition to Lee) as M&O is demanding $780,000 in money it claims Pinkus owes them. Lee accused Pinkus of enacting his scheme to avoid paying judgements won by M&O in arbitration.

Pinkus has responded to the M&O lawsuit saying that his contract with Lee, the supposedly predatory one, still assigns all revenue, royalties and other benefits to Lee. However, Pinkus is accused of deceiving the ailing author into assigning the copyright to him so he can shuffle it from company to company to avoid collection efforts by M&O.


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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