3 Count: Dismissed Empire

My kingdom for an appeal...

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1: ‘Empire’ & Fox Beat $10M Copyright Suit From “Gangsta Pimp”s Memoir & Script

First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline reports that Fox and others connected to the TV show Empire have won dismissal of a lawsuit filed against them. The lawsuit, filed by Ron Newt, alleged that the hit TV show as an infringement of his previous work.

According to Newt, he gave Empire star Terrence Howard a copy of his memoir Bigger Than Big as well as a DVD of All That Glitters, a documentary about him. According to Newt, those were used to create the basis for Empire, all without any license from him or royalties to him.

However, while Fox and other defendants did not dispute Newt’s ownership of items in question nor that the defendants had access, they disputed that the works were similar. According to Fox, Empire is a modern-day interpretation of King Lear, not Newt’s work. The judge, in a motion for dismissal, agreed, saying that that the works were not substantially similar and that the case should be tossed. Specifically, the judge noted that Howard had nothing to do with the creation of the series and was only cast after the pilot was already written. The judge did leave the case open to be refiled in state court, if Newt can show any implied agreement.

2: FTIL Faces Rs3,190 Crore Copyright Case Over its Trading Software

Next up today, Jayshree Upadhyay at Live Mint reports that US-based Modulus Financial Engineering has filed a copyright lawsuit against the Indian company Financial Technologies Limited (FTIL) over alleged misuse of its software.

According to the lawsuit, FTIL purchased a license to Modulus’ software that was intended for brokers and traders. However, rather than using the software, FTIL redeveloped it and then sold it to brokers on their own, violating the license.

The lawsuit is jut the latest issue for FTIL, which recently had its headquarters and other assets seized following the arrest of its chief Jignesh Shah on accusations of Money laundering.

3: Fox News Sued Over Use of Mexico Border Photo on Website

Finally today, Tobias Burns at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that photojournalist Todd Bigelow has filed a lawsuit against Fox News alleging that the news network used a 2014 photograph he took of immigrants crossing the Mexican border without obtaining a license.

According to the lawsuit, Fox News “prominently featured” the image without licensing it. The lawsuit is seeking between $2,500 and $25,000 in damages for the alleged infringement

The lawsuit is the latest in a string of lawsuits against Fox News over image appropriation including one that focused on the use of 9/11 photographs. That case was settled out of court shortly before trial.


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.

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