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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Jay Z and Roc Nation records have successfully gotten a lawsuit by the artist’s former sound engineer tossed, ending the engineer’s claims to co-ownership of several of Jay Z’s biggest hits.
The engineer, Chauncey Mahan, had sued Jay Z and his label after they confiscated hard drives and other master recording elements Mahan had held onto after serving as his recording engineer in the 1990s. Mahan had tried to sell back the content but had the material taken from him in what he called a “sham” sting operation. Mahan then sued claiming that, since he was an independent contractor during his time in the studio, that he was a co-author with Jay Z for many of his tracks, including “Big Pimpin'” and “Do it Again”.
However, the judge noted that Mahan had not sought any royalties nor had he taken any action for nearly 20 years. As a result, without looking at the merits of the claim, the judge ruled that the statute of limitations had expired on Mahan’s claims of authorship. The judge also tossed out Mahan’s claims related to the fake sting operation.
Next up today, Dana Rose Falcone at Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has failed in its second attempt to have a lawsuit over a teaser trailer for the movie Frozen tossed, setting the stage for a possible trial in October.
The lawsuit was filed by filmmaker Kelly Wilson, who created the animated short The Snowman, which featured a snowman battling a rabbit on a frozen lake for his lost carrot nose. Disney released a teaser trailer for the film Frozen ahead of the movie’s release that featured a similar premise, but involving the snowman Olaf and a moose.
The lawsuit does not involve the film itself, just the teaser trailer. The judge ruled that the jury could see either side of the case, noting that The Snowman saw a great deal of attention following appearances at film festivals and that both Wilson and her co-creator had sought jobs at both Disney and Pixar, using their film as an example of their work.
Finally today, David Fisher at The New Zealand Herald reports that Kim Dotcom may be facing deportation from New Zealand, but not for copyright infringement or any part of his role with Megaupload.
Dotcom is best known as the founder of the cyberlocker site Megaupload, which was shuttered in January 2012 in a joint U.S. and New Zealand police action. Since then, The U.S. has been seeking extradition, which he has been fighting. A hearing his scheduled for this summer.
However, Dotcom may face a more immediate threat to his New Zealand residency. In 2010, when filling out his residency application, he said that he not committed an offense involving dangerous driving. However, just eight months prior, he had pleaded guilty to going nearly 3 times the speed limit in a 50 km/h (31 mph) zone. That omission could see him deported to either Finland or Germany, as early as a few weeks from now depending on the results of a deportation inquiry.