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First off today, Reuters is reporting that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of HathiTrust, a digital library that has scanned more than 10 million books to make them searchable, saying that the scanning and indexing of the books is a fair use.
The case was brought by the Authors Guild, which viewed the scanning as an infringement of their copyrights. However, a lower court ruled that the non-profit organization, which scans books to make them searchable by library visitors, was making a fair use of the books since the search did not display the text and was not a substitute for the book itself.
The decision is also a bad omen for the Authors Guild’s ongoing case against Google over Google Book Search, which has been appealed to the same court. Google, like HaithiTrust, has been scanning millions of books to create Google Book Search. That case was tossed out of a lower court before its appeal by the Guild.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that lawyers for Warner Brothers are seeking to have the lawyers working on behalf of HarperCollins dismissed from the ongoing Hobbit case on the grounds that they violated ethics rules by paying two witnesses to a key event, classifying them as experts.
The lawsuit stems from the recent Hobbit movies. HarperCollins, which owns the rights to the books, claims that Warner Brothers is abusing its licensing agreement to sell intangible rights, such as video game rights, that they do not have clearance to offer. According to HarperCollins, the original 1969 agreement with United Artists, from which Warner Brothers acquired the rights, didn’t offer such rights.
However, two men who witnessed the original 1969 signing, two former lawyers for United Artists, were hired by HarperCollins lawyers as expert witnesses in the case, which Warner says is improper as the lawyers owe their loyalty and confidentiality to United Artists, creating a conflict of interest.
Finally today, TMZ is reporting that musicians Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City have scored a key victory over their hit song “Good Time”, as a plaintiff has dropped her claims against the song, meaning that royalties held in escrow will be released to the two.
Allyson Burnett had claimed that “Good Time” was based on her song “Ah, It’s a Love Song” but after an extensive investigation, Burnett learned that the song was an original and has agreed to drop the lawsuit.
As part of the lawsuit, over $800,000 was put into an escrow account but now that it is dropped, it is expected the pair will get paid over $500,000 in back royalties on the song.
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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