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First off today, Contact Music reports that, in a stunning reversal, the judge in the Blurred Lines lawsuit has decided to allow the jury to hear Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” in court so long as they are edited to remove unprotected materials.
The estate of Marvin Gaye threatened Blurred Lines authors Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams claiming that the hit was an infringement of Got to Give it Up by Gaye. This prompted Thicke and Williams to proactively sue, sparking a legal case that’s heading to trial next month.
However, the Gaye estate only holds copyright to the composition, leading the judge, earlier this week, to rule that the estate could not play the recording in the court. Now the judge has reversed that, provided that elements not in the composition are edited out or addressed with a “limiting instruction”.
Next up today, Andrea Dresdale at ABC News reports that Taylor Swift has filed for trademark protection of several phrases found in lyrics in her hit album, 1989.
The phrases include “Party Like It’s 1989”, “Cause We Never Go Out of Style” and “This Sick Beat” among others. Lyrics enjoy copyright protection from the moment they are fixed to a tangible medium of expression. However, Swift is taking the additional steps to ensure that the phrases, which by themselves do not qualify for copyright protection, are not used on merchandise such as shirts, stationery and cell phone cases.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office still has to approve the trademark filing.
Finally today, Emily Gera at Polygon reports that Nintendo has launched a beta of its affiliate program, which shares revenue with YouTube users that post videos of Nintendo’s games and other content.
Entitled the Nintendo Creator Program, the system will pay 60% of all advertising revenue to the video creator, 70% for channels devoted exclusively to Nintendo. The move follows a controversial Nintendo policy that began in 2013 where Nintendo would use YouTube’s Content ID system to match content from their games and run their own ads next to them, preventing their uploader from earning revenue.
According to Nintendo, that model will continue and the new affiliate program is a means for creators to be proactive about the use of Nintendo content and profit from it.
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.