3 Count: Catcher in the Lawsuit

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1: J.D. Salinger Copyright Suit is Dropped

First off today, Andrew Alabense at Publishers Weekly reports that the Default-Graves Agency, a publisher that has long published a collection of three early J.D. Salinger stories, has dropped its lawsuit against the author’s literary trust, saying that the lawsuit is no longer practical.

The lawsuit was filed in Tennessee accusing the trust of interfering with plans to publish foreign editions of the collection even though the stories had lapsed into the public domain in the United States. However, the trust successfully convinced the courts to move the lawsuit from Tennessee to New Hampshire, where Salinger’s Trust is, which the publisher claims made the case too burdensome to press.

However, a recent ruling in Germany may have put another crimp in the case as it showed that 20, even when a work has lapsed into the public domain in its home country, foreign copyright is still possible. Despite the challenges, the publisher says that they have licensed ten foreign editions of the book and that six are in print.

2: Kobe Anime Street Drops Eye Logo After Modern Artist Murakami Claims Plagiarism

Next up today, Anime News Network reports that the Kobe Anime Street, a mall catering to anime products in Japan, has announced it will change its logo in March of 2016 following complaints by artist Takashi Murakami, who claimed that the logo was based on his artwork.

The logo, which features a single, large anime-style eye bore too close of a resemblance to Murakami’s work for the artist. His representatives reached out to the mall in July but the mall insisted that it was commissioned through a non-profit organization and was not an imitation of Murakami’s work.

However, after months of negotiation, the mall has agreed to change the logo in March 2016, one year after its opening. According to the mall, they had been planning to redesign the logo for some time, but needed time to perform a smooth transition for the logo.

3: For Pandora, Ruling on Streaming Royalty Rates Is Crucial

Finally today, Ben Sisario at the New York Times reports that Pandora is awaiting a ruling that is expected this week that could determine the future of the company, specifically what royalties the online radio service will have to pay record labels.

Since Pandora doesn’t allow users to select a specific track, it pays a statutory license that’s set by the Copyright Royalty Board, which is a panel of three judges. When the judges last ruled in 2009, they set the royalty at 14 cents for every 100 plays. However, those rates are up for reevaluation and the labels want it raised to 25 cents where Pandora wants it lowered to 11 cents.

Though Pandora has seen high listenership, it has been unable toter a significant profit, in large part due to royalties, which take up 44 percent of its revenue. Any increase in the rate would be a blow o Pandora but any decrease would, according to experts, likely send Pandora’s stock soaring. The judges have not given any strong indications as to how they are expected to rule.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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