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First off today, The BBC is reporting that 12 member nations met in Auckland, New Zealand to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
The agreement, which has been in negotiation for the past five years, is an treaty between a dozen nations located along the Pacific Ocean including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Mexico. The wide-ranging agreement touches on a variety of topics including trade, environmental, labor and copyright issues.
On the copyright front, the agreement has drawn controversy for its attempts to harmonize copyright law between the nations. Though it won’t bring any changes to the United States, it will cause other nations to adopt several tenets of U.S. law, including copyright terms. Many also fear that it will make future revision or changes to U.S. law more difficult. The countries now have two years to ratify the agreement.
Next up today, Tim Kenneally at The Wrap reports that Led Zeppelin has suffered a setback in its lawsuit over Stairway to Heaven, with a judge denying their bid to get more information about the trust that has filed the lawsuit against them.
The band was sued by the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust. Wolfe, under the name Randy California, was one of the founding members of the band Spirit, which claims Stairway to Heaven is a rip off of their song Taurus. They filed a lawsuit seeking damages and a share of revenue.
Led Zeppelin had tried to argue that the trust was invalid because it was not a qualified charitable foundation or other qualified entity. They had sought documents such as tax records indicating their status. However, the judge has ruled that such evidence is irrelevant and that there is no reason to doubt the trust at this time.
3: Hasbro Sued for “My Little Pony” Font Copyright Issues; Font Brothers Seeks $150,000 in Damages Per Violation
Finally today, the Lawyer Herald reports that Hasbro is being sued by The Font Brothers, a font-making company, alleging that Hasbro has used their Generation B font to promote “My Little Pony” products without a proper license.
According to The Font Brothers, Hasbro has been using font on nearly all “My Little Pony” toys and cartoons. They believe that the company has made unauthorized copies of its fonts to third party vendors so they can produce the products. The Font Brothers claimed that they contact Hasbro about the issue but no action has been taken.
The company is seeking $150,000 per infringement, the maximum allowed under the law. As of this writing, the font is still being used on the My Little Pony website.
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.