3 Count: Monkey Selfie

3 Count: Monkey Selfie Image

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1: Lionsgate Wins Restraining Order to Curb ‘Expendables 3’ Piracy

First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that a U.S. District Judge has ordered six domains o stop hosting, linking to, streaming or otherwise help with the infringement of the upcoming film “The Expendables 3”.

Last week, a high-quality pre-release copy of the film, which is set to debut in theaters on August 15, was leaked online and has been downloaded an estimated 2 million times. Lionsgate, the distributor for the film, filed suit against six BitTorrent sites and several John Doe defendants over the leak and the judge, convinced that Lionsgate will likely succeed in its claims and is suffering irreparable harm, granted the restraining order.

The order also bars the site owners from transferring control of their domains to a third party and also orders banks, payment processors and advertisers to close accounts connected with the sites. The injunction is set to expire on the 8th but, barring any response from the sites involved, it will likely become permanent on that date.

2: Artist Uses DMCA to Remove Criticism of his Impossibly Shaped Female Characters

Next up today, Megan Guess at Ars Technica reports that comic book artist Randy Queen has sent a series of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notes to Tublr over a blog entitled Escher Girls, which focuses on unrealistic portrayals of women in comic book art.

Escher Girls had featured some of Queen’s work from the Darkchylde series of comics, which were popular in the 90s. As the blog does, it criticized the way women were drawn in Queen’s work and offered more realistic “redraws” of the scenes.

But while the takedown notices were controversial enough given the fair use questions that use raises, Queen also sent several emails to the Escher Girls operator accusing her of defamation and in her posts about the removal. Those emails were made public, leading to further criticism of Queen and his handling of the case.

3: Wikipedia Refuses to Delete Photo as ‘Monkey Owns It’

Finally today, Mathtew Sparkes at The Telegraph reports that Wikimedia, the organization behind Wikipedia, is refusing to remove a famous series of “selfies” taken by a monkey in Indonesia.

Nature photographer David Slater was in Indonesia photographing wildlife when a macaque monkey came up and took his camera. He then used the camera to snap hundreds of photos, most of which came out blurry or were aimed at the ground. However, the series included at least two “selfie” shots that were perfectly in focus. Those photos became a viral sensation and made their way into the Wikimedia Commons collection, which is a collection of images that are free for others to use, including Wikipedia editors.

Slater has asked for the photos to be removed but Wikimedia is refusing to do so, saying that the monkey, not Slater, holds the copyright in the photos. Slater is now moving forward with a legal case against Wikimedia over the continued inclusion of the photos but warns that the case will not be cheap, including a £10,000 ($16,800) legal bill.


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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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