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First off today, Wesley Yin-Poole at Eurogamer reports that Spidermind Games is in a copyright spat over its planned pen-and-paper RPG based on the Elite video game series as a group claiming to hold the rights to the earlier games has ordered it removed from Kickstarter.
Spidermind sought to create a pen-and-paper version of Elite: Dangerous, a game that itself began life on Kickstarter in November 2012. The campaign had been going well on Kickstarter, raising well over its target. However, with just days to go, the campaign was pulled down due to a copyright notice filed by people who claim they hold the rights to the original games.
However, Spidermind said that they obtained a license for their pen-and-paper version from the developer of Elite: Dangerous, Frontier. However, the claimants believe that the Kickstarter campaign was illegally using items from the original games, which they claim Frontier does not have the rights to. While Spidermind works with Frontier to resolve the situation, the campaign is frozen. However, Spidermind claims that some backers have already pulled out with others threatening to do so if the freeze continues.
Next up today, Sam Morgan at EurActiv reports that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has green lit a copyright exemption to facilitate the visually impaired accessing literature.
The ruling comes after an objection by eight European Union member states and frees the EU to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty is a 2013 agreement that requires signatories to allow works to be copied without rights holder permission so that the visually impaired can access them.
The EU has already faced criticism for being slow to ratify the treaty. It needed ratification from 20 signatories to come into force and that was achieved in 2016. Many are hoping that this recent decision will help speed up the process of implementing it in the EU.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that two songwriters have filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the main title theme for the Fox TV series Lucifer, alleging that they are not receiving proper royalties for their work.
According to the lawsuit, composer Marco Beltrami approached the pair saying that he was struggling to create the theme for the show. They allege he collaborated with them but did not inform Warner Bros. of their agreement. They put Warner Bros. on notice that they were co-writers of the work but they allege Warner Bros. moved on anyway, using the theme without including them as co-authors.
They say that an agreement over how to divide up the royalties and to provide credit for the theme but Warner Bros. nor Beltrami have “no subjective intention to fulfill it”. As such, they are suing for copyright infringement and fraud.
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.