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First off today, Michael Archambault at PetaPixel is reporting that Getty Images sent a legal threat to the German blog Get Digital over the site’s use of the “Socially Awkward Penguin” meme, forcing the site to pay $868 and remove all copies of the image from its site.
The meme, along with its “Socially Awesome Penguin” counterpart, are popular memes based on a photograph of a penguin that Getty Images claims to hold the rights to. Because of that, Getty Images sent the letter to the, demanding payment or risk legal action.
The site ended up paying the claim but defied an order by Getty to not discuss the case publicly. The site also created new versions of the memes using art that they are gifting to the public domain, making them free for everyone to use.
Next up today, the BBC is reporting that Paul Mahoney, the UK man who pleaded guilty to a several offenses related to an illegal movie streaming site he ran, has been sentenced to four years, two of which will be spent in prison.
According to the investigation, which was headed up by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Mahoney made nearly £300,000 ($460,000) over six years with his site, which saw some films being streamed millions of times. All totaled FACT claims that the site could have cost the film industry £120 million ($184 million). The charges also claim that during the site he was operating the site he received state benefits totaling £12,000 ($18,500).
FACT and other rights holder representing groups welcomed the conviction saying that Mahoney’s operation was very sophisticated and involved a “quite staggering” amount of copyright infringement.
Finally today Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Disney has teamed up withsanrio to file a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against a California man named Gene Wilson, who they claim operates an online cake decorating business that regularly makes use of infringing characters.
According to the lawsuit, Wilson uses various characters owned by Disney, including its subsidiaries Marvel and Lucasfilms, on the cakes that it sells. In addition to being copyright infringement, the lawsuit claims that the use of the characters implies endorsement and causes confusions of ownership.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against making any additional character-related cakes and also seeks to seize any molds, screens, patterns or other equipment used in the manufacturing of infringing cakes.
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.