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First off today, ABC 10 reports that, in the “Happy Birthday” lawsuit, both sides have submitted their motions of summary judgment and the judge is expected to rule next month on whether to grant victory to one side or send the matter to a trial.
The case pits musician Rup Marya and filmmaker Robert Siegel as they sue Warner/Chappell Music over the copyright status of the iconic song “Happy Birthday to You”. Warner/Chappell has earned millions off of licensing the song. However, disputes about when the song was written has put its copyright status in doubt, prompting many to believe it’s a public domain work.
The lawsuit seeks to force Warner/Chappell to return millions in royalties it collected and for a declaratory judgment on the status of the work. A hearing is scheduled for January 26.
Next up today, David Bario at The Am Law Litigation Daily reports that SiriusXM is hoping that combination of new attorneys and old rulings can help them turn the tide in their litigation over pre-1972 sound recordings.
Before 1972, sound recordings were not protected under federal copyright law and, instead, were covered under state laws. Sirius XM, which is a satellite radio service, did not pay royalties for broadcasting pre-1972 sound recordings and was sued recently by the surviving members of the Turtles over it in three states. The band has won a pair of early victories on it, one in California and one in New York, but Sirius XM is hoping the New York court will reconsider.
Accord got Sirius XM, and its new lawyers, the court did not hear about a relevant ruling form 1940 that found copyright in the state did not cover public performance of sound recordings, specifically over the radio. However, the ruling was not presented to the judge in the motions for summary judgment and now Sirius XM is hoping that the judge will either reconsider or allow the matter to be appealed.
Finally today, Josh Taylor at ZDNet reports that leechers will be safe from the Dallas Buyers Club LLC if they are allowed to launch their campaign in Australia, noting that the software used to track piracy is capable of tracking leechers, but only records those actively sharing the file.
Dallas Buyers Club LLC, the rightsholders in the movie by the same name, are suing Australian ISP iiNet to force the company to turn over information identifying suspected file sharers for potential legal threats and lawsuits. The case is currently in discovery phase but it was revealed that the software the company uses, MaverikMonitor 1.7, can track those who only leech the file but is not set up to place them in the list.
The software works by entering a BitTorrent swarm and noting the IP addresses that are sharing the infringing file. BitTorrent users typically share the file as they download it, offering the pieces they have already received, but that option can be turned off. However, doing so, hurts the availability of the file to others in the swarm.
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.