Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law attorneys, John Steele, Paul Hansmeier and Paul Duffy, have been hit with another round of sanctions, this time totaling $65,263, over their lack of payment of previous sanctions and awards.
Prenda Law was a copyright trolling effort that widely targeted those illegally downloading pornographic films online. Prenda would attempt to learn the identities of the infringers so they could secure quick settlements. However, when some of the defendants began to fight back, it was revealed that the companies Prenda was supposed to be representing were shell companies for the law firm and its attorneys, leading to sanctions and awards of attorneys fees.
However, Prenda has paid very little, if any, of those awards and has pleaded poverty, saying that it can’t afford to pay the more than $250,000 in sanctions. The judge, previously, was suspicious of Prenda Law’s claims but found insufficient evidence to take action. Now, in a recent hearing with new evidence, the judge has reversed course, noting that nearly $5 million is unaccounted for and that the lawyers involved made expensive purchases and large money transfers even as they were claiming they couldn’t afford the sanction. The lawyers now need to pay an additional $65,000, an amount that can grow if they continue to defy the court’s orders.
Next up today Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News reports that Live Nation is still potentially on the hook for Jay-Z’s alleged infringement of Egyptian musician Osama Ahmed Fahmy as the judge declines to dismiss most of the allegations against them.
Fahmy sued Jay-Z and others in 2007 alleging that the Jay-Z hit Big Pimpin used an unauthorized sample from his song Khosara, Khosara. Jay-Z has maintained that the sample is covered under a licensing agreement through producer. That case is dragging on over discovery issues with a trial set for later this year. However, Fahmy also sued Live Nation alleging that the concert promoter had also infringed by holding events and earning revenue from the song.
The judge has declined to dismiss that lawsuit, saying that Fahmy proved enough of his arguments to allow the case to move forward. However, the judge did dismiss Fahmy’s claim that Live Nation had committed direct infringement, but leaving intact allegations of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.
Finally today, Katie Roof at Fox Business reports that yesterday Apple announced the launch of its new music streaming service, Apple Music, which will directly compete with Spotify, Rdio and other similar services in the marketplace.
Apple made the announcement as part of its keynote at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), an event which also saw announcements about new versions of OSX, iOS and Apple Watch. Apple said that the service will cost $9.99 but offer a family plan for $14.99 that covers up to six users. It will provide unlimited streaming of millions of songs in the iTunes library (though not necessarily all), access to a 24/7 radio station, Beats 1, music videos and human-curated playlists.
The service will launch on June 30th, along with an update to iOS, and will come with a three month free trial.
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.