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First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that lawyers linked to the controversial law firm Prenda Law have pleaded poverty to avoid paying sanctions. However, the judge seems skeptical of those claims and actually increased the amount the lawyers owe as a penalty for the delay.
Prenda is commonly refereed to as a copyright troll. The organization became famous for suing thousands of suspected file sharers that were trading pornographic films. However, Prenda’s cases began to fall apart due to various problems including issues with ownership of the companies that Prenda was representing, which often turned out to be shell companies for the lawyers themselves.
But despite claims that prenda had made over $4.4 million in settlements over copyright issues, the lawyers claimed that they could not pay one $261,000 sanction. When asked for financial records to prove their poverty, the judge ruled that the records were incomplete and ordered it paid with interest. The lawyers have since posted a $287,300 bond that seems to have satisfied the judge.
Next up today, Dave McNary reports that another lawsuit has been filed against Warner Brothers and New Line seeking to stop production of sequel to “The Conjuring”, which is currently set for a pre-Halloween release in 2015.
The lawsuit features the same plaintiffs as the first suit, Evergreen Media Group and Tony Derosa-Grund, but also features Gerald Brittle, author of “The Demonologist” as a plaintiff.
The lawsuit claims that Brittle did not give permission for the use of his work in any sequels to the movie. He claims that the movie is a violation of an agreement they signed Lorraine Warren, a paranormal investigator featured in the film and others who work with her.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and alleges fraud, copyright infringement, breach of contract, tortious interference and civil conspiracy.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Fox has fired back against Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold, saying that their lawsuit over the show “New Girl” should be dropped due to a lack of similarity between the show and the script that they claim it is based off of.
Counts and Gold laid out a case that showed how they had worked with many of the defendants in the case, including Fox, WME and more to bring about a new show entitled “Square One” that was to feature Zooey Deschanel. They claim that “New Girl”, which also features Deschanel, is based upon those efforts and is an attempt to cut them out of money that is owed to them.
However, Fox has hit back saying that the similarities between “Square One” and “New Girl” are limited to elements not protectable under copyright. Fox goes on to call the theory of similarities “scattershot” and that it is limited to elements such as a proposal to a cat and certain songs to be played.
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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