3 Count: Counterattacks

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1: Led Zeppelin Seeks Dismissal of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Lawsuit

First off today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that the surviving members of Led Zeppelin are asking a Pennsylvania court to either dismiss or move a lawsuit against them over their iconic song “Stairway to Heaven”.

The lawsuit alleges that the group took the opening guitar riff of the 1971 song from an earlier work by the band Spirit. The lawsuit, which was filed by the trust of Spirit frontman Randy Craig Wolfe, is asking for $150,000 per infringement plus other damages.

In filings by the surviving Zeppelin members, they seek o have the lawsuit dismissed or, at the very least, moved to Los Angeles. All of the members filed declarations stating that they had no connection to Pennsylvania, last performing there as Led Zeppelin in 1985, and are asking the suit be moved to Los Angeles if it is to continue.

2: YouTube Star Michelle Phan Countersues Dance Label Ultra Records

Next up today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that YouTube star Michelle Phan, famous for her makeup tutorials, has filed a countersuit against Ultra Records in which she claims to have been given permission to use the music at issue with the original lawsuit and that she should be awarded damages for the false takedown of her works.

Ultra Records filed suit against Phan in July claiming that she used music from artists such as Kaskade and Deadmau5 without permission. They also sought takedown of some 12 of Phan’s videos.

Phan, however, is claiming that she was given permission by a manager at Ultra in July 2009 to use not just the artists involved but all of Ultra Records music. She is seeking unspecified monetary damages and is accusing the company of acting with “fraud, oppression and malice.”

3: James Cameron Wins ‘Avatar’ Idea Theft Lawsuit Against Artist

Finally today, Aaron Couch at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that James Cameron has successfully gotten yet another Avatar lawsuit dismissed, this one filed by artist William Roger Dean, who claimed that his artwork was the inspiration for Pandora.

Dean sued Cameron alleging that elements of the visuals from Avatar were lifted form his artwork. However, a U.S. District Court Judge has dismissed the lawsuit claiming that Dean’s claims were “misguided”.

The judge noticed that Dean’s evidence included books based upon the movie, rather than the actual movie, and that other images were edited or taken out of context to appear more similar to his work.


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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