3 Count: Unsettled Hopper

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1: Fox’s Lawsuit Over Dish’s Place-Shifting DVR Is Again Live

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the lawsuit between Fox and Dish is active again as a hiatus in the litigation has expired with no agreement between the two sides.

The lawsuit began when Fox, along with other networks, filed a lawsuit against Dish over its Hopper DVR that not only allowed viewers to automatically skip commercials, but, with a Sling feature, stream the content to other devices. Fox had argued copyright infringement but both the lower and the appeals court ruled that Fox would not likely prevail on copyright infringement argument. However, in a secret summary judgment that was later unsealed, the court ruled Dish had violated terms of its contract with Fox.

The two sides agreed to a pause in litigation so they could negotiate a settlement but, after more than nine months, no settlement has been reached. Other broadcasters have settled their lawsuit as part of their retransmission negotiations and Fox’s contract with Dish is coming up. Whether they will settle as part of that or simply have a trial on damages remains is the question facing the case now.

2: NYC School Kid Can Sue Over Her T-Shirt Design

Next up today, Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse News Service reports that a second grader identified as I.C. will be able to move forward with her lawsuit against the clothing company LittleMissMatched over their use of a shirt she designed for a contest.

I.C. entered a contest for LittleMissMatched clothing line and her shirt design, which features a smiley face on the front with the word “Hi” and a frowned face on the back with the word “Bye”, won and was put into production. She received a $100 gift card and five shirts. Shortly after the contest, LittleMissMatched closed and sold its assets to Sock Drawer, which in turn sold the shirt to Delta Galil USA.

To enter the contest, I.C.’s mother was required to sign a waiver claiming that work was for hire. However, the court ruled that a minor is not bound by a waiver signed by their parent. As such, the shirts may be an infringement, if they are copyrightable. However, the U.S. Copyright Office refused to accept a registration for the design saying, in their view, it didn’t qualify.

3: Copyright Trolls Announce UK ‘Anti-Piracy’ Invasion

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that anti-piracy tracking firm Maverick Eye has announced that it will be ramping up operations in the United Kingdom, which will likely see more suspected pirates receiving demands for payment from rightsholders.

The company has assisted several aggressive rightsholders, including Dallas Buyers Club LLC, in tracking down suspected BitTorrent users pirating their content. Those rightsholders, typically send settlement demand letters to suspected pirates, demanding a relatively small cash settlement to avoid a lawsuit. However such efforts have not been prevalent in the UK following the bankruptcy of several companies involved.

The UK makes the process of obtaining an ISP customers personal information simple, leading many to expect a broad campaign in the country is imminent. However, the process is extremely controversial, with many calling such organizations “copyright trolls” and claiming that the demands are based on flawed evidence.

Suggestions

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.

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