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First off today, Jonathan Stempel at Reuters reports that musician Kendrick Lamar has been sued by Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music, copyright holders to the 1975 Bill Withers song Don’t You Want to Stay.
According to the lawsuit, Lamar used Withers’ song to make his own 2009 piece I Do This. The lawsuit claims that this isn’t just a case of two songs that sound similar, but one of Lamar simply taking the music from Don’t You Want to Stay and putting his own lyrics over the top.
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction against future infringement and unspecified damages. As a side note, the lawsuit was filed in the same court that handed the estate of Marvin Gaye a major victory of Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in the Blurred Lines case.
Next up today, Natalia Drozdiak at The Wall Street Journal reports that, in the European Union, the European Commission Vice President Andrus Slip said that he would not create a single set of rules for all Internet companies operating in Europe and, instead, would try to craft a variety of rules to target different problems and different providers.
Ansip, who heads the EU’s push to create a single digital market for its member states, gave the comments ahead of a scheduled communication on the issue, which is due in June. Many providers have been worried about how the regulations will play out, especially since most of the providers impacted are based in the United States.
Ansip also reiterated that they have no plans to issue taxes on hyperlinks as part of an upcoming copyright proposal and, instead, the Commission just wants to clarify guidelines around when legal content is used illegally, including looking at how some news aggregators operate.
Finally today, Chris Morran at The Consumerist Reports that Paramount Pictures and CBS, as part of their ongoing case over the Star Trek Fan Film Axanar is making the argument that they hold the copyright to the Klingon language, which was created specifically for the series.
Paramount and CBS sued the people behind Axanar claiming that the pre-production fan film, which received over $1 million in crowdfunding, is a violation of various copyrights they hold in the Star Trek series. Lawyers representing the film’s producers asked for clarification in exactly what was infringing and Paramount provided a lengthy list of items, including the Klingon language itself.
The issue has sparked a debate about whether or not a fictional language can be copyrighted. Useful articles and mere facts are not considered copyright protected, but the estate of J.R.R. Tolkein, the author of the Lord of The Rings series and the Elvish language, claim copyright over theirs, even though they have yet to sue over it. Still, many copyright scholars remain skeptical over the idea.
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.