3 Count: Grumpy Lawsuit

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1: RIAA Wins Big Damages From Anonymous Grooveshark Cloner

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the RIAA has won a $17 million judgment against an anonymous Grooveshark clone operator as well as an injunction that bars the site from continuing too operate.

After a protracted legal battle, the original Grooveshark finally shuttered its doors in May, closing its site and transferring all of its trademarks to the RIAA. However, copycat sites quickly sprang up and the RIAA took legal action against them.

One of the sites didn’t respond to the lawsuit and has since been hit with a default judgment. That judgment includes the maximum damages ($150,000) for 89 tracks plus $4 million for trademark infringement. That comes to a total of more than $17 million if the RIAA is able to track down the individual and collect.

2: Jeff Koons Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Gin Ad Photo

Next up today, Reuters reports that artist Jeff Koons, widely his giant sculptures of a balloon dog, is being sued by photographer Mitchel Gray who claims that Koons reproduced a photograph he took “nearly unchanged and in its entirety” for a print entitled I could Go For Something Gordon’s.

According to Gray, he took the original photograph in 1980. However, in 1986 it was featured in an ad for Gordon’s Gin without his permission. That same year, Koons released his piece, which also featured the photograph. While the statute of limitations for copyright lasts only three years, according to Gray the clock doesn’t start ticking until he becomes aware of the infringement, something that happens only in July of this year.

In addition to Koons, Gray is also suing the auction house which sold the print in 2008 for $2.04 million and the unnamed former owner of the print.

3: Grumpy Cat Sues Beverage Company Over Alleged Knockoff Coffee

Finally today, Tim Kenneally reports that Grumpy Cat is on the legal warpath.

Grumpy Cat Limited, owners of the intellectual property related to the popular meme, has filed a lawsuit against Grenade Beverage saying that the coffee maker has overstepped the bounds of a previous licensing agreement and has committed both copyright and trademark infringement.

According to the lawsuit, Grumpy Cat Limited had a licensing agreement with the company that allowed them iced coffee products dubbed Grumpy Cat Grumpucino. However, it’s now claimed that the company created unauthorized products and failed to provide accounting for the legitimate products it created. The lawsuit also claims cybersquatting on the domain grumpycat.com and is seeking an injunction barring continued distribution of infringing products.


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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