Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Jon Healey at the LA Times reports that a federal judge has denied motion by music streaming service Pandora to dismiss a lawsuit against it on the grounds that it violated California’s anti-“strategic lawsuits against public participation” law or Anti-SLAPP.
The lawsuit was filed by Flo & Eddie of The Turtles who allege that Pandora have not been paying royalties for pre-1972 sound recordings. Pandora has argued there is no law requiring royalties for public performance of such recordings because they were never placed under federal copyright protection, instead they were put under state laws. However, in multiple lawsuits, Flo & Eddie sued alleging that the use of the music violated state laws.
The lawsuit against Pandora comes on the heels of early victories against satellite streaming service Sirius XM. However, Pandora argued that the lawsuit was a violation of their first amendment right to stream music, something the judge has now tossed out. The move was widely expected as the judge involved is the same as the one in the Sirius XM case.
Next up today, Pamela Chelin at The Wrap reports that the much-anticipated Blurred Lines trial got underway yesterday and both Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were in attendance.
The duo proactively sued the estate of Marvin Gaye after it began expressing concern that the Thicke song Blurred Lines was an infringement of Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. Thicke and Williams repeatedly sought a declaratory judgment of non-infringement but were unsuccessful. However, they were able to pare the matter down to just the composition of Got to Give it Up since the song is a pre-1972 sound recording and is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Opening statements were heard yesterday and the trial is expected to continue today, likely with Jan Gaye and Robin Thicke both expected to testify. The trial is expected to last eight days.
Finally today, David Robb and Anita Busch at Deadline Hollywood are reporting that a short Power Rangers fan film produced by Adi Shankar has found itself at the center of a copyright controversy, with the Vimeo version of the film being removed due to a takedown notice filed by Saban Banrds, which own The Power Rangers brand and content.
The fourteen minute film was a “gritty” reimagining of the Power Rangers franchise. Set in a dystopian future long after the events of the first series, the film showed the now-grown high schoolers struggling with emotional issues following their ordeals and living in a world dominated with sex, violence and death.
However, Saban is rumored to be working on it is own non-gritty reboot of the series and has ordered removal of the Vimeo version, which featured more adult content, though the YouTube video remains. The film’s director, Joseph Khan, has taken to Twitter protesting the removal saying that his film was a fair use and comprised solely of original footage.
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.