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1: Beyonce Asks Court to Slay “Formation” Lawsuit

First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Beyonce, Sony Music and others connected with her are requesting the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the estate of late musician Messy Mya.

The estate of Mya filed the lawsuit alleging that, during the creation of the Formation music video, they used at least two samples from Mya’s YouTube videos. Mya’s estate also claimed that the samples were used in later live performances of the song, including at the Super Bowl. As such, the estate sued for some $20 million in damages.

However, Beyonce and her co-defednants are hitting back saying that Mya’s estate have grossly exaggerated their claims. First, they say that the estate exaggerates the use of Mya’s work in the original video and that the claims it was used in live performances is false. They further argue that they had licensed the vide with the film’s producer before a change in estate administration but failing that, the use of short samples in a transformative way is a fair use.

2: Warner Bros Haunted by ‘True Story’ Marketing of The Conjuring as $900m Copyright Lawsuit Gives Chase

Next up today, John McCarthy at The Drum reports that Warner Bros. is fighting its own marketing campaign in a battle over The Conjuring films as the studio tries to argue that the film was based on historical facts, not the autobiography of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The lawsuit was filed by Gerard Brittle, who claims that the Warrens signed away their life story to him in 1979. That includes the material from their autobiographical book The Demonologist, which Brittle says was the basis of the Conjuring films.

Warner Bros. says that the films were based on historical facts, which aren’t copyrightable. However, the marketing campaign for the films famously said they were based on the life of the Warrens and a tweet by the films’ director prove that he was aware of the book years before the films. Brittle is seeking unspecified damages.

3: Fourth Circuit Court Finds FIFRA Precludes Copyright Protection for the Required Elements of Pesticide Labels

Finally today, Lisa Campbell, James Aidala and Margaret Graham at The National Law Review reports that a district court in North Carolina has ruled that, in a claim over infringement of pesticide labels, that the federal labeling requirements take precedent over copyright law.

The case was filed by Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, which sued several alleged copycat producers. Among the claims was that the defendants pesticide labels were too close to their own and amounted to copyright infringement.

However, the court found that the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act places requirements on what can be on a pesticide label and those requirements preclude a copyright claim and any copying that took place outside of that is protected under fair use. The ruling, however, contradicts another district court, setting the stage for a possible appeal.

Suggestions

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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