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First off today, Jennifer Smith at the Wall Street Journal reports that photographer Bobby Miller is suing the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation as well as several prominent museums alleging that he is the photographer behind a series of photos alleged to be self-portraits of Mapplethorpe in drag.
The images in question have been heavily featured lately due to a revival of interest in Mappelthorpe’s work including an HBO documentary and several exhibits. The images were widely thought to be self-portraits but Miller claims that, while the photos were taken in Mapplethorpe’s studio, that he was the one who took the images.
Miller claims that he has been trying to assert copyright in the works for 27 years but has been rebuffed by the Mapplethorpe foundation. The foundation, however, claims that the lawsuit is frivolous because, even if Milller did take the photos, it was Mapplethorpe’s idea, studio and camera. Miller claims that he was responsible for the idea.
Next up today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that former professional wrestler Rene Goguen, better known as Rene Dupree, has filed a class action lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) alleging that the company has failed to pay royalties on its deals with streaming services, including videos licensed to Netflix and WWE’s own over-the-top streaming service.
According to the lawsuit, under his arrangement with the WWE, Goguen was supposed to receive royalties on all video products sold by WWE. However, he claims that performers have been shortchanged by the WWE’s push into streaming, with has included both a deal with Netflix and the launch of the WWE network in February 2014.
The WWE, however, claims that in 2011 Goguen signed a buyout agreement that “waived any claim of future royalties of any kind or for any reason.” Goguen, however, is suing for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
Finally today, Allegra Frank at Polygon reports that Nostalrius, the largest private World of Warcraft (WoW) server, has shuttered after legal threats from Blizzard, the company that created the game.
Nostalrius was well known in the WoW for being the only place that players could enjoy the “vanilla” version of the game, which no longer exists and is not supported by Blizzard following the release of multiple expansion packs. However, Blizzard says operating the server is a violation both of the terms of service of WoW.
Nostalrius has announced it will shut down all of its servers on April 10th but players on the server have launched a petition hoping that Blizzard will alter its policies regarding legacy servers or offer their own.
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.