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First off today, Jonathan Stempel at Reuters reports that Florida real estate developer and minority owner of the Miami Heat, Raanan Katz, has lost his appeal to stop distribution of an embarrassing photo of him with the appeals court upholding a lower court decision ruling its use a fair use.
In 2011 a photographer took the photo for an Israeli newspaper. Irina Chevaldina, a disgruntled former tenant of Katz’, found the photo and published it on her blog as part of a criticism of him. Katz, who then saw the photo on Google Image Search, purchased the rights to the image and then sued Chevaldina for copyright infringement.
However, the lower court ruled that Chevaldina’s use was a fair use, claiming that the use was transformative, for the purpose of criticism and did not harm the potential market for the work since Katz had purchased it with the plans to stop distribution. The 11th Circuit has now upheld that ruling, limiting Katz’ options to appealing to the Supreme Court.
Next up today, Steven Nelson at US News and World Report reports that U.S. Presidential candidate Ben Carson is demanding that print-on-demand company CafePress remove shirts, bumper stickers and laws signs created in support of his campaign but sold without his permission.
In a letter to CafePress, a lawyer representing Carosn alleged trademark and copyright infringement along with misappropriation of name and likeness. CafePress has declined to remove the merchandise but has responded saying that the claims are baseless.
The rebuttal goes on to say that, since the speech at question is political speech, not commercial speech, making it more protected from copyright and related arguments, Carson’s request has no base in the law. However, Carson and his team are standing by their demands, saying that people are using “our campaign and image to line their pockets” without contributing anything back to the campaign itself.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the European counterpart to the MPAA, has revealed that there have been over 500 instances of sites being blocked in Europe with some 13 countries blocking at least one.
Of the countries blocking domains, Italy is leading the way with 238 and the United Kingdom has blocked 135. After that, the numbers drop quickly with Denmark having blocked 41 and Spain having blocked 24.
The numbers were part of the MPA’s presentation at the iCLIC Conference in the UK. It also said that the first instance of site blocking in Europe was in 2006 when Denmark ordered the site Russian site AllofMP3 blocked. That site closed a year later due to pressure from the Russian government.
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.