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First off today, Jon Healy at the Los Angeles Times reports that a judge has tossed a lawsuit filed by the city of Inglewood, California against a critic who used clips of city council meetings in YouTube videos.
The lawsuit involved Inglewood resident Joseph Teixeira, a staunch critic of the city’s mayor and others in the city government. He posted a series of YouTube videos using clips from the city’s recordings of their council meetings and was sued by the city for copyright infringement. Teixeira filed a motion to dismiss, saying that the California Public Records Act bars local government from holding copyrights in records they generate and, further, that his use was a fair use of the videos.
The judge, to that end, agreed with both arguments. He dismissed the case saying that the city can not claim copyright in the videos and, even though a ruling on fair use wasn’t necessary, did so, also siding with Teixeira, so that both issues can be appealed at once.
Next up today, Cyrus Farviar at Ars Technica reports that the studio behind the Adam Sandler film The Cobbler has filed a lawsuit against 11 Popcorn Time users in Oregon who they claim illegally downloaded and shared the film.
The suit, which was filed by Cobbler Nevada LLC, targets 11 anonymous Comcast users in and around Portland. While these types of lawsuits are not unusual and usually seek to unmask the suspected infringers in hopes of securing quick settlements, this case is unique because it targeted users of just one service: Popcorn Time.
Popcorn time has been routinely called the “Netflix of Piracy” for its simple user interface. However, the lawsuit calls it out saying, in part “Popcorn Time exists for one purpose and one purpose only: To steal copyrighted content.”
Finally today, Ngoc An at The Thanh Nien News reports that the Vietnamese national anthem, “Tien quan ca” (Marching song), is having its rights enforced just four years after the late composer’s widow wrote an open letter offering to “gift” the song to the public.
The written in 1944 by the late composer and musician Van Cao. Cao’s widow, Nghiem Thuy Bang, had said four years ago that she would “gift” the song to the public. However, the rest of the family never reached a consensus on “gifting” the song. As a result, they’ve authorized The Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright to collect royalties on it.
The center said that royalties will be required for most performances Exceptions are provided for students singing the song in class, a tradition in Vietnam, and “important ceremonies”. Other uses will require a royalty and, though the amount is not known, the center did say it would not be much due to complications tracking the song’s use.
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.