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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that laywers for Jay Z and Timbaland have hit back against an appeal in the “Big Pimpin” lawsuit, pointing out deficiencies they see in the appeal, both legal and ethical.
In 2007 the duo was sued over the 1999 song Big Pimpin by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdy. According to Hamdy (and now his heir Osama Fahmy), they used an unlicensed sample of Hamdy’s song Khosara Khosara in the song. However, Jay Z and Timbaland argued they had paid for the sample through a legitimate channel and successfully argued that Fahmy did not have standing to sue in the case, getting the case dismissed after a trial but before a jury verdict.
This has led Fahmy to appeal the judge’s decision but the appeal has taken an especially ugly turn. At one point Fahmy argued that the use of the sample was akin to the theme from Jaws being used by the Ku Klux Klan. Jay Z and Timbaland responded saying that moral rights do not apply in the United States, making such arguments pointless.
Next up today, Cabinet Maker reports that four executives of Designers Revolt, an online furniture retailer have been arrested after their company was found guilty of copyright and trademark infringements.
The company, which is registered in the UK, primarily did business with Sweden, which has a design copyright of 70 years on furniture and lamps. The Stockholm Patent and Market Court, after a district court finding that the company was managing its business in Sweden, sentenced four executives from the company to prison sentences ranging from one and a half years to three months.
The four are also being fined almost SEK50m ($5.4m) in damages. The court said that the high damages and prison sentences are a matter of how long the business was in operation and the harm done to plaintiffs. The Designers Revolt website has since been shuttered.
Finally today, The EconoTimes reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce is holding a public meeting on the use of blockchain for the purpose of performing digital registrations, including to protect the copyright of a work.
The meeting will leverage the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Patent and Trademark Office, The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the International Trade Administration. They will review the blockchain technology and how it may be able to help with a variety of technical and practical challenges.
Blockchain is a distributed database technology that allows the entire web to verify the content of the database and add to it. It is commonly used in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin but more recently has been finding uses in intellectual property for its ability to easily make registrations that can be verified and searched.
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.