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First off today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that Maria Pallante, the Register of Copyrights for the U.S. Copyright Office, has been removed from her position by the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden.
The U.S. Copyright Office is under the Library of Congress giving Hayden, who just took the position five weeks ago, authority over the role. Pallante, who had held the position since 2011, had repeatedly clashed with Hayden, including working against her nomination.
There is now a great deal of anxiety about who will replace Pallante, who was widely seen as being pro-creator and had ambitions for a modernized and independent Copyright Office. While the position is only responsible for a very limited amount of copyright policy, Pallante had called for and had been advising a full copyright review, which began in 2013.
Next up today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against the talent agency Innovative Artists claiming that the company was responsible for “blatantly illegal” distribution of films such as 2015’s Creed.
According to the lawsuit, Innovative Artists set up a server that it hosted various films on. Those films included screener copies, sent to Innovative Artists to deliver to one of its clients.
Warner Bros. learned about the piracy after checking watermarks on the screeners that were published online. The lawsuit claims that Independent Artists was aware that the films distributed via their server would see broader distribution online and that the company used illegal ripping software to convert the screeners to digital format.
Finally today, Carey Dunne at Hyperallergic reports that photographer David Kittos has filed a lawsuit against the Donald Trump campaign claiming copyright infringement over a photograph Kittos took of a bowl of Skittles that the campaign used as part of a tweet.
The photo was part of a controversial tweet about Syrian refugees asking whether you would still take a handful of Skittles from the bowl if three of the Skittles were poisoned and would kill you. Kittos, however, says that he never gave permission to the campaign to use the image and, furthermore, took offense to the tweet as he is a refugee himself, having fled the Republic of Cyprus at age six.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages. Kittos notes that there is no amount of money that would have motivated him to license the image for the use. Kittos had previously gotten the image removed from Twitter by filing a copyright notice with the site.
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.