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First off today, Reuters is reporting that musician Kanye West is being sued by Gabor Presser, a Hungarian rock musician, who claims that West’s 2013 song New Slaves used unlicensed samples from his 1969 song Gyongyhaju Lany.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also targets Sony/ATV, the publisher of the song. it claims that Presser was unaware that his song had been used until a lawyer representing west began emailing him soon after marketing for the album began. He goes on to claim that West’s lawyers sent him a $10,000 check to grant a license but Presser never cashed the check.
Presser is seeking some $2.5 million in damages for copyright infringement and notes that the song involved is “one of the most beloved pop songs ever in Hungary and across Eastern Europe.”
Next up today, Steph Harmon and Lucy Clark at The Guardian reports that local author comedian Magda Szubanski has said that she will consider leaving the country and will likely stop writing if the country’s government moves forward with proposed changes to the country’s copyright regime.
Szubanski was in attendance at the Australian book industry awards where she won best biography and best book of the year for first work, Reckoning: A Memoir. However, the festivities were somewhat dampened by recent proposals by the government, one of which would potentially shorten the copyright term on books to 15-25 years after publication and another that would remove import restrictions on books being published actively in Australia.
Szubanski and other authors in attendance warned of dire consequences should the government move forward with the proposals, saying that there would likely be a “brain drain” of talent in the country and that authors would struggle to recoup the costs of writing books, which often take years to produce.
Finally today, Anime News Network reports that, in Japan, the Square Enix manga Hi Score Girl will resume publishing on July 25th following a copyright dispute that began in 2014 and temporarily halted publication.
The manga tells the story of of a sixth-grader, Haruto, who spends a lot of time in a local arcade and meets a girl, Akira, that is a high-level gamer. The series frequently featured cameos from various video games and it was those cameos that sparked the copyright battle as game maker SNK Playmore filed a criminal complaint against the series in 2014 citing over 100 instances of their characters appearing in the manga.
Soon thereafter, publication of the manga was halted and a voluntary recall was put into place. The battle heated up with formal criminal charges being filed against 16 people at Square Enix but the matter was settled in August 2015 after SNK Playmore dropped its claims. Now the series is set to finally return after a nearly two-year hiatus.
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.