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First off today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that Stan Weston, the creator of the popular G.I. Joe action figure, has filed papers to reclaim his copyright in the iconic toy line, which he says should revert back to him 2020.
Copyright termination is a clause that allows original creators to terminate licenses and transfers after a certain number of years. Weston claims to have created the G.I. Joe line, which he sold to a toy company in 1964. That company would go on to be bought by Hasbro, who holds the rights today.
Weston has filed suit claiming that Hasbro is denying his right to copyright termination. The case is further complicated by the fact that neither Weston nor Hasbro has a copy of the original 1964 contract. However, Weston claims that there is no dispute that he created the toys and when the contract was signed, making it clear when the copyright termination should take place.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has dismissed claims by rapper Rick Ross against the band LMFAO over their use of the line “Everyday I’m shufflin'”, which he saw as an infringement of his popular song line “Everyday I’m hustlin'”.
Ross filed the lawsuit alleging that LMFAO infringed his copyrights by using the “Shufflin'” in their song Party Rock Anthem. The line was also featured on merchandise and in a Kia commercial, prompting Kia to be named as a defendant as well.
However, the judge found that, when separated from the music, Rick Ross’ “Hustlin'” line did not qualify for copyright protection and, furthermore, the changes LMFAO made to it a different work. As a result, the judge granted a summary judgment against Rick Ross on the copyright issues.
Finally today, Roger Parloff at Fortune reports that Apple has asked for additional time to appeal to the Supreme Court in their dispute over allegations they participated in price fixing of ebooks.
In 2012 the Department of Justice and 33 states sued Apple alleging that it collaborated illegally with publishers to artificially inflate the prices of ebooks on its services. Apple has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing but both a lower court and an appeals court have found against them.
Apple had indicated that it might be moving on from the suit but the recent filing indicates that Apple is asking for more time so it can prepare an appeal to the Supreme Court, saying the matter, “Presents issues of surpassing importance to the United States economy.”
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.