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First off today, the Associated Press reports that a judge has filed a motion for summary judgment in the case of Fox News vs. TVEyes, granting that significant portions of the TV clipping service are a fair use and do not infringe Fox News’ copyright.
TVEyes is a clipping service that is widely used by organizations to scan over 1,400 different media outlets for mentions and relevant information. Fox News sued claiming that the service, which includes the channel in the list of sources it monitors, was violating their copyright by using their content without a license.
However, the judge has ruled that the company’s database and keyword search functionality are not infringing and that no reasonable jury could find it as such, thus tossing the case against that component. While this is a major victory for TVEyes, it is somewhat limited as the judge said he needs more evidence about other aspects of TVEyes’ business, including the services that allow searching via date and time as well as downloading, archiving and sharing clips.
Next up today, Nick Clark at The Independent reports that it could be years before the rightful heir of photographs taken by Vivian Maier is determined, putting the copyright of the images up in air.
Maier is was a French photographer who died in 2009 with no immediate family. Though she was relatively unknown at the time of her death, her archive of over 100,000 photos street art in is now prized among art critics as being among the best of the 20th century. Her photographs were discovered by John Maloof, who purchased about 90 percent of the negatives shortly before Maier died. He then located Maier’s first cousin once removed, named Sylvain Jaussaud, and paid him for the rights to the work.
However, Francis Baille, a retired civil servant from Gap, has also come forward as a rightful heir and has sued to reclaim the copyright interest in the work. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S., has left the status of the works in limbo and could the the images removed from galleries and no longer being sold. Maloof, however, claims that Jaussaud is still the closest relative and that the claims of Baille are irrelevant.
Finally today, Earl Dittman at Digital Journal reports that a long-running battle over the unauthorized release of a live 1969 performance by Jimi Hendrix has ended as a UK court has affirmed the Experience Hendrix, the estate for the former musician, is the true copyright holder to his music.
The case centers around a performance by Hendrix in 1969 in Stockholm, Sweden. Purple Haze Records had been distributing copies of that performance and was sued by Experience Hendrix for copyright infringement. However, Purple Haze Records made the claim that documents that transferred the copyrights back to the estate were a forgery and that the estate had no right to make such a claim.
The judge not only ruled that the documents were legitimate, thus ensuring that the estate is the legitimate copyright holder, but also said that modern copyright rules surrounding performance artists could be applied to the older recording, making it a probable infringement.
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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