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First off today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that lawyers representing Led Zeppelin in the Stairway to Heaven case have asked the court for $800,000 in fees and costs for defending their clients against the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the estate of the lead singer from the band Spirit.
According to the lawsuit, Led Zeppelin’s iconic Stairway to Heaven was a copyright infringement of a Spirit song Taurus. However, when the case went before a jury the it found that no infringement had taken place and that the similarities between the songs were not protectable under copyright.
With the trial over the lawyers for Led Zeppelin are now seeking attorneys fees and other costs. Such costs can be awarded in copyright cases, though at the discretion of the judge. However, the Supreme Court, in a different case, recently provided guidance on the issue, which may make it easier for them to claim such fees. The attorneys are seeking some $180,000 in costs and $613,000 in fees, which represent 1,8000 hours of work at $330 per hour.
Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that musician Darlene Love has filed a lawsuit against HGTV claiming that the network used her voice and performance in commercials without her permission.
Love says she has sang Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) on Late Night with David Letterman‘s holiday shows for nearly 30 years. She claims that HGTV and their parent company Scripps Networks used a recording of her work to turn her into a an “involuntary pitchman” for the network.
Love is not suing for copyright infringement because the copyright is owned by the companies behind Late Night. Instead, she is suing for common law right of publicity and is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
Finally today, Fernando Alfonso III at Forbes reports that a lawyer representing the creators of Nyan Cat and Doge are claiming that the punk band Sum 41 committed copyright infringement by using their work in the band’s most recent music video without permission.
Sum 41 recently released the music video for their song Fake My Own Death, which features various memes and images from the Internet added into shots of the band’s members. Nyan Cat, a popular meme from 2011, features heavily in one part of the video as does Doge, a meme that first appeared in 2010.
Though the memes were created by different artists, they are represented by the same lawyer, Ben Lashes. He says that, while there are processes in place for licensing both memes, Sum 41 failed to do so with either. He also says his attempts to reach out to the band’s managers have failed and that they are taking the issue very seriously. They previously won a lawsuit over another meme, Keyboard Cat, which was included in the game Scribblenauts without the creator’s permission.
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.