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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire (love the new blog design) reports that the Second Circuit has said it will take up Flo & Eddie’s case against SiriusXM, setting the state for a federal on the key issue of public performance royalties for pre-1972 sound recordings.
Pre-1972 sound recordings are not protected under federal law and, instead, are protected under state statutes. Flo & Eddie of The Turtles sued SiriusXM in New York (and elsewhere) for not paying royalties for their music. SiriusXM claimed that there was no public performance right under New York law though a judge disagreed, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and setting up SiriusXM for a possibly very large amount of damages.
SiriusXM asked the Second Circuit to hear the case, noting the potential nation-wide implications for a service like it. The court has now agreed and will hear the matter, rather than taking it to a state court of appeals.
Next up today, Nate Rau at The Tennessean reports that fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels if filing a demand for arbitration against Lionsgate Films over their alleged misuse of several of her videos, which they posted on YouTube and other streaming sites for free.
According to Michaels, she signed a deal with Lionsgate to distribute many of her tapes via retail outlets, with a royalty plan that paid based on the number of units sold. However, she claims Lionsgate used her videos to launch a BeFit YouTube channel, from which she received no royalties.
Michaels is not just seeking lost revenue in the contract, but also claims that the use of her videos on YouTube has devalued her future work by offering much of her videos online for free. She is seeking $10 million from Lionsgate in the demand for arbitration.
Finally today, Tim Kenneally at The Wrap reports that a Kuwaiti author has come forward to claim that the Disney film Frozen is a copyright infringement off her work.
The author, Muneefa Abdullah, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against both Disney and the film’s screenwriter, Jennifer Lee. She claims that the movie is based on her story The Snow Princess, which was included in her book entitled New Fairy Tales.
The lawsuit claims the two stories share similar plot, characters, themes and other elements. Disney has not responded to the lawsuit but it is the latest in a long line of lawsuits over the movie, all of which, to date, have been tossed.
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.