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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that film producer Don Murphy’s hopes for making a new Buck Rogers movie have suffered a setback as a judge has refused to rule on whether or not the source material is in the public domain, saying that there is no actual controversy at this time.
Murphy sought to begin work on a new film adaptation of Philip Francis Nowlan’s 1928 novella Armageddon 2419 A.D., claiming that the book is in the public domain. However, the estate of John F. Dille, the man who published Nowlan’s work, disputed that and demanded a license be paid. Murphy took the matter to court asking a judge to rule that the work was out of copyright but the judge has said that, since there hasn’t been any specific impact on the proposed film.
What this means, for Murphy, is that if he wants to settle the public domain status of the film, he first must infringe it. However, studios have been reluctant to move forward with the film without first clearing the rights. This is despite the fact that one of the two beneficiaries of the Dille estate, Robert Dille, is co-screenwriter for the Murphy adaptation.
Next up today, Mary-Ann Russon at the International Business Times reports that the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has arrested a 38-year-old London man for selling Android TV set-top boxes that were modified to access subscription TV for free.
The operation is part of a larger attack by PIPCU against illegal set-top boxes. Launched on March 17th, the police have executed seven search warrants in seven different UK cities that have resulted in six arrests and the seizure of 42 set-top boxes.
The operation is being executed in with support from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the Northeast Regional Specialists Operations Unit and regional Trading Standards.
3: Photographers Claim Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Cribbed ‘Iconic’ Bald Eagle Shot for Merchandise
Finally today, Victoria Bekiempis at the New York Daily News reports that wildlife photographers Wendy Shattil and Robert Rozinski are suing Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign for copyright infringement alleging that the campaign used their photograph of a bald eagle on various pieces of merchandise.
The photo, entitled Bald Eagle Portrait, was captured by Rozinski in 1980 and features the head of a bald eagle looking straight into the camera. They photographers allege that the image has appeared on yard signs and other merchandise sold by the Trump campaign and noticed the infringement after seeing a Trump supporter holding up a sign featuring their image during a Presidential debate.
In addition to the merchandise, the photographers accuse the campaign of sharing the image on social media and encouraging followers to print out signs with the image. As such, they are suing the campaign for both primary and secondary copyright infringement.
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.