3 Count: Shadow Ruling

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1: Teller Wins Lawsuit Over Copied Magic Trick Performance

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Teller, the silent half of the magician due Penn & Teller, has won his lawsuit over a copied magic trick as a judge has issued a summary judgment in his favor, setting up a trial on damages alone.

The trick involved is entitled Shadows and features Teller snipping away at the shadow of a flower in a vase only to have the pedals fall off the real flower, which is in front of a light on stage. A Belgian magician named Gerard Dogge posted a YouTube video of himself performing a very similar trick, offering to teach anyone the secret for $3,050.

While magic tricks are not copyrightable, pantomimes are and the judge ruled that the trick involved had pantomime elements that were copyrightable and were copied. However, the judge did rule that there is an issue of material fact as to whether or not Dogge was a willful infringer, setting up a trial on damages.

2: Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme Could be Operational Before End of 2014, Says UK Government

Next up today, Pinsent Masons reports that Ed Valzey, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport made a statement in the House of Commons that the “Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme” (VCAP) could be operational by the end of this year.

The Digital Economy Act (DEA) was passed years ago to create a system where Internet subscribers would be warned when committing copyright infringement and, after amassing enough warnings, have their access cut off. However, implementation of the law has been difficult due to legal and technical challenges, thus prompting stakeholders to set up a voluntary program to serve as a stop gap.

According to Valzey, that voluntary program may be up and running this year and would likely look much like the Copyright Alert System (CAS) in the United States, which is also a voluntary agreement between rightsholders and ISPs. However, under the CAS, account termination is not a punishment and, instead, it is intended to be educational in nature.

3: Apple Inc., Amazon Sued By South Carolinian Over Copyright Sound Recordings, Demands $5.2 Billion

Finally today, Michael Oleaga at The Latin Post reports that Roland Chambers is suing CD Baby, Amazon and Apple for a total of $5.2 billion alleging that 5 CDs he had made through CD Baby were still being sold and made available without his permission.

According to Chambers, CD Baby continued to distribute his music, including to Amazon where it was made available to various countries. Chambers also claims that Amazon refused to remove the infringing works after notification. Heh also accuses Apple of making some of the tracks available for download and others available for streaming.

The infringement, which Chambers claims has been going on for some 14 years, has resulted in some $5.2 billion in damages, which he is asking for with an interest rate of 2.5 percent. The $5.2 billion is broken up among the three companies and, if damages were spread evenly it would come to $1.74 billion each.


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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