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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Disney has emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed by an author of adventure stories who claimed to have been the inspiration for key points in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Author Royce Matthew sued Disney in 2013 alleging that various ideas from the films were based on his books, in particular the idea of the pirates turning into skeletons at night. However, he had also filed two similar suites in 2005 and 2006. The first lawsuit was dismissed for unknown reasons but the 2006 case was dismissed after Disney provided evidence they had created art on similar themes that predated his creations. This prompted him to sign a release form, barring future lawsuits.
However, after bouncing around various states, Matthew’s 2013 lawsuit is now also gone, this time dismissed by a California judge. However, it wasn’t a copyright issue that got the lawsuit dismissed, it was that Matthew had failed to show that the release had been properly ended and that he was not barred from filing the lawsuit. The judge ruled that the notice Matthew provided was not adequate to terminate the release and that he was still barred from making any new claims. The judge did not look at the merits of the claims.
Next up today, Erica Fink at CNN/Money reports that at least one victim of revenge pornography, the publication of private and/or nude sexual images publicly online, has been forced to register her images with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to be able to pursue her ex.
The woman in the article, who is using the pseudonym “Hilary”, says that her ex began posting private images of her when they broke up. As the photographer, she first sought to have the images removed through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) but many sites refused to comply. She then sought to file a copyright infringement lawsuit but was first forced to register the images and videos with the U.S. Copyright Office, which meant storing the images with the Library of Congress.
Revenge pornography is illegal in 17 states though such laws routinely face first amendment challenges. This has prompted many victims, if they took the photos/videos themselves, to turn to copyright as a means of enforcing their privacy.
Finally today, Tyler Lee at Ubergizmo reports that the popular BitTorrent tracker Demonoid has begun preventing ad blocking users from access its site, saying that it is unable to continue operations without ads.
Visitors to Demonoid using ad blocking are now directed to a black page with white lettering that simply says, “Please allow ads on this site on your ad-blocker to proceed.” It goes on to explain that it has not received funds from affiliates and, due to difficult with payment processors, they can only receive donations via Bitcoin.
Demanoid and other BitTorrent sites have been repeatedly criticized for having overbearing and deceptive ads, including fake “Download” buttons. However, such sites say the ads are necessary to support their operation.
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.