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First off today, World Intellectual Property Review reports that U.S. games publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has suffered a setback at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its case against Direct Technologies (DT).
The lawsuit began when EA, through an intermediary, sought to have DT produce flash drives that were similar to the PlumbBob, better known as the diamond that appears over a character’s head in The Sims games. DT produced a prototype and began negotiations for the full run but, as the two sides talked, EA send the prototype to a Chinese manufacturer that said it could make the flash drives cheaper.
This prompted DT to sue EA for both copyright infringement and trade secrets. However, the district court dismissed both claims saying that DT had not done enough to protect its trade secrets and that the flash drive was not a joint work because DT had signed an agreement transferring all rights. However, the Ninth Circuit has reversed the latter part of that ruling saying that DT could emerge victorious if the contract was fraudulently induced. However, the court upheld the decision about the trade secret claims. The case is now remanded back to the district court.
Next up today, the Associated Press reports that Getty Images has hit back against photographer Carol Highsmith, saying that the photographer lost her right to complain when others, including them, make commercial use of her photographs since she licensed them in the public domain.
The lawsuit began when Getty Images sent a demand letter to Highsmith, accusing her of copyright infringement for using her photographs on her site. Highsmith has donated the images in question to the Library of Congress, putting them in the public domain, and that prompted her to sue Getty for over $1 billion after she learned that they were selling and licensing her work without her permission.
Getty, however, has responded saying that they are within their rights to make commercial use of the images. They further say that the amount sought by Highsmith is “outlandish” and that the lawsuit is an attempt by the photographer to exploit works that she surrendered the rights to long time ago.
Finally today, marc Schneider at Billboard reports that both the Copyright Alliance and CreativeFuture have sent an open letter to both of the major U.S. Presidential candidates asking them to “ensure a strong copyright system” should they become President.
The letter is backed by a Change.org petition, says that protecting copyright and internet freedoms are not mutually exclusive and asks both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, should they be elected, to work to protect creators.
The letter also seems to take a shot at YouTube, calling out services that are “making massive profits from creative contributions to the internet’s growth,” but fail to share that value with the creators who make the work possible.
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.