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First off today, Colin Perkel at The Canadian Press reports that Playboy Magazine has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against two Canadian publications for illegally posting photographs of Kate Moss taken for the Playboy 60th anniversary edition, which was released in 2014.
The lawsuits target Toronto-based Contempo Media and Montreal-based Indecent Xposure and seeks up to $50,000 in damages from each publication. The lawsuit accuses the publications of profiting off the images unjustly and causing damages to Playboy.
However, both publications expressed surprise that Playboy would target them and said that they feel the use of the images was sound under Canadian copyright law. Indecent Xposure added that they removed the images after being contacted by Playboy in 2014.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Mark Towle, the California mechanic sued by Warner Brothers over his Batmobile reproductions, is asking the Supreme Court to hear his case after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him.
Towle drew the attention of Warner Brothers for selling reproductions of various Batmobiles, including one from the 1960s TV show and another from the 1989 film. He claimed that the replicas were just “useful articles”, meaning they could not be protected by copyright, but Warner Brothers argued they were characters in the Batman universe and could be.
The Appeals Court sided entirely with Warner Brothers, making Towle liable for damages. However, Towle is petitioning the Supreme Court stating that the U.S. Copyright Office has determined that made its position clear that a car can not be protected by copyright. He is also asking the Supreme Court to look at what traits make an automobile a character and what elements of the expression are infringing if they are.
Finally today, David Fisher at The New Zealand Herald reports that Kim Dotcom has released a new music video entitled Good Life, which reportedly cost $24 million NZ($15.5 million US) to make and features scenes of Dotcom living an extravagant life including him enjoying parties, yachts and fancy cars.
Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 following a joint action by U.S. and New Zealand authorities that resulted in the closure of his then-site, Megaupload. He is currently facing extradition to the United States on criminal copyright infringement charges and a court recently ruled that he is eligible though the ruling is on appeal.
Much of the footage shown in Good Life was recorded in 2011, before his arrest. Since then much of his property has been seized to pay for his legal expenses or held in anticipation of damage awards. However, more recent footage shows musician Printz Board performing music from Dotcom’s Good Times album at a local music festival. Dotcom has repeatedly turned to the courts to ask for more of his funds to be released, saying he does not have enough money to survive and pay his mounting legal bills. Dotcom has referred to Good Life as the most expensive music video ever created.
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.