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First off today, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that publishers in the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case have suffered yet another setback as the judge has corrected her previous decision to indicate that 44 of the 48 uses at issue were fair rather than just 41.
The case centers around GSU, which was sued by various publishers over allegations it encouraged its faculty to offer unlicensed copies of course readings to students from an internal electronic reserve rather than paying for course pack licenses. However, the court initially ruled against the publishers, finding nearly all of the uses in the case to be a fair use. However, that was overturned by an appeals court, which sent it back down the lower court for a rebalancing of the fair use analysis.
Unfortunately for the publishers, after this recent adjustment, they now have 4 potential infringements they can take to trial, rather than the 5 they had after the initial ruling. Because of this, the publishers are once again weighing their appeal options.
Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that HBO and Mark Wahlberg have filed a motion seeking dismissal of the lawsuit over the TV series Ballers, claiming that the show has virtually nothing in common with the pitched show it’s alleged to be infringing.
The lawsuit was filed by writers Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton, who claim they pitched an idea for a series entitled Off Season to the producers of Ballers. However, they claim that, rather than working with them to make the series happen, the produers took the idea for the show and made their own series based upon it.
However, HBO and others behind Ballers have hit back saying that the two series have little in common. HBO claims that Off Season is a very dark drama based out of a nightclub owned by a professional football player where Ballers is a comedy about the careers and struggles of football players. As such, HBO is saying that it’s clear their work is not an infringement and is asking the court to dismiss the case.
Finally today, Rhett Pardon at XBiz reports that the $2.4 million lawsuit against the forum AdultDVDTalk has been suddenly and unexpectedly dropped, leaving the defendants wondering why the case was abandoned.
The lawsuit was filed by Pacific Coast News, a media company that owns the rights to several celebrity photos that were posted on AdultDVDTalk. The plaintiffs alleged that moderators at the site had posted the photos, meaning that it they were not uploaded by mere users and the site no longer qualified for DMCA safe harbor protection.
However, even though Pacific Coast News has filed over 100 similar lawsuits, they dropped this one mysteriously and without warning. The operators of AdultDVDTalk are still cautioning other forum admins to register a DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office to avoid similar litigation in the future.
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.