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First off today, Jill Goldsmith at The Wrap reports that Google has filed a series of briefs that ask Viacom, Fox and NBCUniversal to comply with a Mississippi subpoena that orders them to turn over documents related to an MPAA and its relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.
Google sued Hood due to a Civil Investigative Demand which attempted to compel Google to turn over a variety of documents related to the company’s practices and whether it profited from illegal goods sold through it. Google claimed the order was overly broad and the courts agreed, issuing a preliminary injunction against Hood, preventing him from enforcing the demand.
Around the same time it was revealed that the MPAA and related organizations had been making an effort to reach out to attorneys general in hopes of targeting Google. Google alleged that the relationship between the studios and Hood was improper, prompting them to subpoena the studios’ records, to which Google says it hasn’t received any documents.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that, in the Blurred Lines case, Universal Music is saying that finding it liable for copyright infringement would be a violation of its seventh amendment right to a jury trial, as the jury in the case had already ruled in favor of them.
The case began when the estate for Marvin Gaye made allegations that Blurred Lines was an infringement of Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. That prompted Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the creators of Blurred Lines, to file a proactive lawsuit. However, when the case went before a jury, they found in favor of the Gaye estate, ruling that the duo owed $7.4 million in damages.
However, the jury also ruled that others involved with Blurred Lines, including Universal Music and rapper T.I., were not liable. However, the Gaye estate is hoping to extend liability to them, claiming that the facts the jury fond to be true lend to such a conclusion. However, Universal is saying that, while it feels the jury award should be overturned, that if it isn’t, extending the ruling to cover them would be a violation of their rights to a jury trial.
Finally today, The Guardian is reporting that a UK judge has ruled that a former producer for the band The Fall is entitled to 33% of their track 1999 Touch Sensitive but not after some unusual difficulties in determining what the lyrics were.
Former band member Julia Adamson claimed she had co-written the song in 1998 with the band’s singer, Mark E. Smith. Sharples, however, claimed that the 1999 version was a complete rewrite that he had contributed to and deserved one third of the credit. However, due to the vocal styling of the lead singer, the judge had a difficult time discerning the lyrics and, according to the judge, transcripts provided by Sharples were not accurate, causing further confusion.
Though the judge found Sharples’ claims to be unreliable, he did say that passages added by Sharples were a significant enough contribution for co-authorship. Where the judge said he would have agreed to make Sharples 20% owner, a previous agreement meant that he would be one-third owner instead.
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.