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First off today, Jonathan Sternpel at Reuters reports that the children of composer Morton Stevens have filed a lawsuit against CBS alleging that the network is infringing their copyright in the iconic Hawaii Five-O theme.
Stevens composed the theme for the original show, which aired between 1968 and 1980. According to the lawsuit, when he died in 1991, the rights to the song passed to his wife and then to his kids. However CBS filed a registration for the song in 1997 indicating that it was an owner.
CBS recently rebooted Hawaii Five-O, which has seen about 100 episodes over the past five years. The reboot also uses the same theme, which the lawsuit considers an unlawful derivative work, and also notes the song has been distributed on a soundtrack CD based on the show.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Fox News is asking a judge for permission to file and interlocutory appeal over its ongoing dispute over a 9/11 photograph that it posted to Facebook.
The alleged infringement occurred on September 11, 2013, on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Fox News, on one of its Facebook pages, posted a well-known photograph of firemen raising the U.S. flag over ground zero and juxtaposed it with an image of marines raising a flag over Iwo Jima. This prompted the owner of the photo, The New Jersey Media Group, to file suit.
Fox, however, argued that the use of the photo was a fair use but the judge denied their efforts to dismiss the case on those claims. Fox News would, theoretically, be free to raise them at a trial. But now Fox is asking to appeal that issue saying that the posting of the image to Facebook is inherently transformative and should be considered a clear fair use.
Finally today, Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch reports that Amazon will be launching a new “Unlocked” section on its Android app store that will offer users a wide variety of paid apps free of charge.
The program is being referred to as “Amazon Prime for Apps” in that, like Amazon Prime for movies, it will make a wide variety of normally paid rentals available for free. Though costs are unclear, the section will feature automated recommendations of apps for users to download and enjoy.
However, the program does have a key wrinkle, when an app leaves the “Unlocked” promotion, it becomes paid again and current users will likely find themselves locked out. In that regard, the system is being see as much a free trial of apps as a free download.
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.