3 Count: Curiously Absent

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1: Sherlock Holmes: A Step Closer to Being Ruled in the Public Domain

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the heirs to Sir Authur Conan Doyle’s estate have yet to respond to a lawsuit filed by an expert in Sherlock Holmes and now that expert is seeking a summary judgement declaring that the great detective be forever placed in the public domain.

The lawsuit was filed by Leslie Klinger, who served as a technical advisor for the recent Sherlock Holmes movies and also authored the book The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. He sued the estate seeking a declaratory judgment that Holmes was in the public domain. However, to date the estate has not responded to the lawsuit and the court has entered a default against them.

Holmes first appeared in 1887, well into the public domain but later stories were published between 1921 and 1927, which are still under copyright protection. However, Klinger argues that the character of Holmes is already public domain even if all of his stories aren’t. With the default in hand, it’s likely Klinger will win the rest of his lawsuit and, with it, make it so that others can use the famous character without paying royalties.

2: MPAA Wants Up to $750 Million in Damages from isoHunt

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the MPAA, in a recent hearing in their ongoing legal battle with isoHunt, have indicated that they are seeking up to $750 million in damages from the BitTorrent tracker.

The MPAA filed the lawsuit in 2006 over 44 movies. However, the court gave the MPAA permission to add more at any time and the MPAA has indicated that it is considering adding some 3-5 thousand titles to the lawsuit, raising the total amount of possible damages to $750 million.

Of course, the damages are reliant on isoHunt first being found liable. However, given legal rulings in similar cases and evidence collected by the MPAA, including isoHunt’s own server logs, it seems likely. However, isoHunt is taking issue with the MPAA’s claims of direct infringement, saying that the MPAA must support that someone in the U.S. both visited the site and downloaded a torrent.

3: Toni Braxton Loses Rights To 27 Songs In Bankruptcy Case

Finally today, Melia Robinson at Business Insider reports that musician Toni Braxton has lost the copyright to 27 of her best-known songs including “You’re Making Me High” and “Always” after losing a bidding war for them following a bankruptcy filing in 2010.

The songs were put up for auction to pay debs Braxton owed after filing for Bankruptcy. She was given clearance to bid on the songs but Ross M. Klein outbid her and now owns the rights to the tracks.

Braxton still owns the rights to her most popular song, “Un-Break My Heart” as well as other songs in her catalogue.


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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