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First off today, Harriet Gibsone at The Guardian reports that Marvin Gaye’s family has responded to Robin Thicke’s preemptive lawsuit over Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines”. In the response, Gaye’s family is not only saying that the song is an infringement of Gaye’s song “Got to Give it Up” but that Robin Thicke used elements of other Gaye songs in his music.
Thicke sued the Gaye estate after members of the family began to alleged that “Blurred Lines” was an infringement and an attempt at a settlement failed. Thicke sought a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, but Gaye’s estate highlighted the fact that Thicke admitted to being inspired by the song and added several other counterclaims.
The estate also files counterclaims against EMI, which is currently owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, saying that the publisher has refused to protect the rights to the song and they are seeking a termination of the contract, which would give them the right to control Gaye’s music.
Next up today, Andrew Flanagan at Billboard reports that the United Kingdom has implemented rules voted on by the European Union that will extend the copyright term for sound recordings for 20 years, taking it from 50 to 70 years.
It also enactedand enacted several other rules including the creation of a session fund that will see 20% of the revenues from sales go to performers, a clean slate provision that prohibits the deduction of royalty advances from performers payments and a “Use it or lose it” clause that allows performers to reclaim their performance rights if they feel their works aren’t being adequately exploited commercially.
The move was a part of an attempt to better harmonize EU copyright law with that of the U.S., which currently protects sound recordings for 95 years. However, the rule does not have any effect on the copyright of musical compositions.
Finally today, the BBC is reporting that Greek author Odysseus Lappas is demanding $3.5 million from 20th Century Fox and New Regency over his claim that the film “In Time”, which starred Justin Timberlake, is “uncannily similar” to a synopsis he wrote in 1996.
Lappas, who fled his story with the Writer’s Guild of America, called his version “Time Card”. According to Lappas, both stories are action-adventure movies involving a couple that live in a world where humans die after their 25th birthday unless they buy or steal more time. Lappas also says that the similarities extend to the idea of a poor man, who is running out of both money and time, falling in love with a wealthy woman, who is virtually immortal.
Lappas claims to have met with representatives of 20th Century Fox, who offered to buy the rights to the idea for $80,000 but Lappas refused. “In Time” was released in 2011 and was credited to Andrew Niccol.
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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