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First off today, Hrag Vartanian at Hyperallergic reports that a lawyer representing the photographer Donal Graham has sent cease and desist letters to both the artist Richard Prince and the Gagosian Gallery, which is displaying some of Prince’s work.
Prince, often described as an appropriation artist, routinely makes use of the work of photographers in his art, without permission, payment or attribution. He was recently sued by another photographer, Patrick Cariou, who saw an earlier victory overturned in the 9th Circuit, with the court ruling that most of Prince’s pieces were a fair use of Cariou’s photos.
In Graham’s case, Prince made use of one of the photos he took and placed it inside fake Instagram status. The letter asks both Prince and the gallery to stop exhibiting or distributing any of Prince’s work that is based on Graham’s photos.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the rights holders behind the recent film Dumb and Dumber To have filed a series of massive copyright lawsuits targeting those who have shared the film online.
At least five such lawsuits were filed in Oregon alone, targeting some 1,000 IP addresses within the state. Typically these lawsuits, which identify the defendants as “John Does” and list only their IP address, aim to get a subpoena to collect the information of the suspected infringer, who is then targeted for a settlement.
Similar lawsuits have been filed previously for movies such as The Hurt Locker, Expendables 3 and The Dallas Buyers Club.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Tumblr users are reporting a spike in copyright takedowns targeting music files uploaded to the service, with at least some losing their accounts to repeated takedown notices.
The reports suggest that the IFPI, an international trade group representing the music industry, has ramped up its efforts to remove infringing music from Tumblr. Combined with Tumblr’s “three strikes” policy, which terminates user accounts after three copyright notices within 18 months, some accounts are finding themselves shuttered. Others are trying to clean out their archives to avoid copyright issues.
Tumblr users are upset because many of the posts have been online for months or years and are only now coming under fire. Tumblr, however, has not responded to requests for comment but it was noted the site did update it’s copyright policy last month to add it will notify subscribers when they remove allegedly infringing material.
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.