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First off today, Jose Pagliery at CNN Money reports that former U.S. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has reached a settlement with Rude Music over his use of the song Eye of the Tiger at a rally held for Kim Davis.
Rude Music is a company owned by Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan, she co-wrote the song. The company had sued Huckabee for copyright infringement after he used the track at a political rally in support of Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Huckabee had attempted to argue that the use of the song was covered under a religions services exemption but attorneys for Sullivan noted that the rally was paid for by his campaign’s expenses. Huckabee, according to campaign filings, has already paid half of a $25,000 settlement but is now petitioning the Federal Election Commission to allow him to start a separate legal defense fund to pay off the rest.
Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the judge in the Happy Birthday to You lawsuit has approved the proposed settlement, bringing the song one step closer to being available for all to use freely.
The lawsuit was filed by a filmmaker who claimed that Warner/Chappell music demanded a hefty licensing fee for using the song in a documentary. The lawsuit was filed as a class action, meant to repay anyone who had paid for a license to use the song in recent years. The judge ruled that the copyright on the song was invalid and that prompted Warner/Chappell to settle rather than battle on.
Under the terms of the settlement, Warner/Chappell will refund about $14 million in royalties it had collected. With the judge’s approval, that settlement now becomes one step closer to final. However, the issue of attorneys fees still needs to be decided though a response from the plaintiffs on the fees is due by July 12th.
Finally today, Mike Futter at Game Informer reports that Quirk Ford of Quincy, Massachusetts has found itself in a copyright controversy as a recent advertisement promoting a sale featured art from the popular indie game Firewatch.
Firewatch is a popular “walking simulator” created by developer Campo Santo. It features the take a fire watchman trying to unravel a mystery unfolding in his forest. Somehow, when Quirk Ford sought to create a new ad for an upcoming sale, the company used an image from the game and its website.
The similarity was spotted by username @Panic on Twitter. When Futter called Quirk Ford, he spoke with someone in the advertising department that claimed not to recognize the original but admitted that the company has not copyright vetting or clearance process.
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.