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1: House Passes Copyright Office Reform Bill

First off today, John Eggerton at Multichannel News reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, a bill that would make the Register of Copyrights a Presidentially-appointed position.

The bipartisan bill aims to take the U.S. Copyright Office out of the Library of Congress, of which it is currently a part, and make it a standalone agency. It’s leader, the Register of Copyrights, would be appointed by the President with confirmation by the Senate.

The bill easily passed the house, 378 to 48 but its prospects in the Senate are less certain. Still, content creators cheered the bill, saying it will give the office greater independence and greater involvement in copyright legislation.

2: “Blurred Lines” Appeal Brief Says Artists Can’t Copyright a Groove

Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have filed a new brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Blurred Lines case, asking the court whether a “groove” can be copyright protected.

The duo were sued by the estate of Marvin Gaye, who alleged their hit song Blurred Lines was an infringement of Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. The case went before a jury and the jury sided the the Gaye estate, finding that the song was an infringement. Thicke and Williams are now appealing that verdict.

Specifically, they are asking whether the judge in the lower court erred in allowing the case to go before a jury in the first place. They argue that, since the songs are not substantially similiar, that the overlap is the groove of the song, which can’t be copyrighted. They are asking the 9th Circuit to either reverse or vacate the judgement against them.

3: Khloe Kardashian Slapped With Lawsuit by Paparazzi Agency

Finally today, US Weekly reports that Khloe Kardashian is being sued by Xposure Photos, a paparazzi photo agency, over her use of one of their photos on her Instagram. However, to make the story more interesting, the photo is of herself.

According to Xpsorue, Kardashian used one of their photos of her and posted it onto her Instagram account and pushed it out to her 67 million followers. They claim that use of their image hurt their ability to license the image to magazines and newspapers.

The company is demanding $150,000 in damages, the maximum statutory damages allowed under the law.

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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