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First off today, The Associated Press reports that the Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven trial has gone to the jury following closing arguments and that, despite hours of deliberation, the jury was not able to reach a verdict on the first day.
The lawsuit was filed by the estate for Randy Wolfe, a musician with the band Spirit who wrote the song Taurus. The trust is accusing Led Zeppelin of infringing Taurus with their hit song Stairway to Heaven and now the matter has made it to the jury.
Over the course of the trial, the jury heard testimony from a variety of music experts as well as several members of Led Zeppelin including both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. In closing arguments, attorneys representing the Wolfe estate said it was a simple matter of musical theft while attorneys for Led Zeppelin claimed Wolfe’s ownership of the song was dubious and that the chords they are accused of copying have long been in the public domain.
Next up today, Reuters reports that, in China, Disney has taken three local companies to court for copyright infringement and unfair competition over the film Autobots, which many believe is a direct plagiarism of the Disney film Cars.
Disney has been making a major push into China in recent months opening up theme park in Shanghai and working to push its films into local theaters. However, in 2015 local producers released a film entitled Autobots that many believed was too close to the Disney film Cars and its sequel including similar characters, character design and plots.
The lawsuit was filed against both producers and distributors of Autobots and the case has reached a courtroom now since Disney has decided it doesn’t wish to reach a settlement.
Finally today, Steven Perlberg and Deepa Seetharaman at The Wall Street Journal report that Facebook has signed deals with some 140 celebrities and media companies to encourage them to use its new live-streaming and produce new content for its users.
The deals vary in size with Buzzfeed and The New York Times taking in more than $3 million to produce live video content for the next year. Meanwhile, celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay and Michael Phels are taking in about $200,000.
Facebook has faced sharp criticism over its video platform, both live and non-live streaming, over the lack of payment to creators and the problem of pirated content. Facebook said that it is taking this approach currently until it works out a better way to pay creators for their contributions.
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.