3 Count: Left Shark Bites

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1: ‘Blurred Lines’ Trial Moving Forward After Judge Rejects Appeal Bid

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a U.S. District Judge has denied a request by the estate of Marvin Gaye for an appeal, setting the stage for the Blurred Lines trial starting February 17.

The Gaye estate previously expressed that they felt Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ hit song Blurred Lines was an infringement of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. Williams and Thicke proactively sued and the case has been winding toward a trial. However, recently the judge ruled that the estate only has copyright protection on the composition, not the sound recording, prompting the judge to restrict the elements of the Gaye song that could be played in the courtroom.

The estate asked for a delay in the trial to appeal on that issue but the judge has denied that saying such an appeal would prolong, not shorten, the litigation. The trial is expected to feature Thicke and Williams on the stand, as well as others who worked on Blurred Lines.

2: Megaupload Programmers Arrested in the U.S.

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Andrus Nomm, a former programmer for Megaupload and one of seven employees the site had, has been arrested in Virginia.

In January 2012, Megaupload was shuttered in a joint action by New Zealand and U.S. authorities that included a raid on home of the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom, who was also arrested. But while the extradition case against Dotcom has dragged on, it has done the same for other employees, including Nomm, who was living in the Netherlands

The arrest before an extradition hearing indicates that Nomm came into the country after striking a deal with U.S. authorities, possibly in exchange for testimony against Kim Dotcom himself. However, a lawyer for Dotcom says that, if he testifies truthfully, his testimony will be of no use to the U.S. government.

3: ‘Left Shark’ Legal Row Heats Up: Does Katy Perry Hold Copyright?

Finally today, Chris Taylor at Mashable reports that an attorney hired by sculptor Fernando Sosa has sent a reply to an a letter sent by an attorney representing Katy Perry over the singer’s claim of copyright infringement in a figurine that Sosa had produced of “Left Shark”, the choreographically-challenged backup dancer for the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Left Shark became a meme after his botched Super Bowl performance became the subject of jokes and ridicule. Sosa, being a sculptor, created a whole series of shark-related sculptures based on “Left Shark”. However, an attorney working for Perry sent Sosa a cease and desist letter, ordering he stop producing and selling the 3D-printed figurines.

After raising $500 in a crowdfunding campaign, Sosa hit back with a letter of his own letter that calls into question many of Perry’s claims. The letter specifically asks for clarification about why the shark costume should be considered copyrighted? If it is copyrighted, how does Perry hold the copyright (and not the designer)? And what copyright interest Perry has in the video considering the NFL owns the broadcast?

Suggestions

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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