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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Lil Jon and DJ Snake, the two rappers behind the 2014 hit Turn Down for What, are being sued by Tha Architectz, who says the hit is based on their 2012 song of the same name.
According to the lawsuit, Tha Architectz (Freddie GZ, Maliki Sankoh and Roberson Bonjean) came up with the idea for the song in 2012 and released it to much fanfare in the rap community. Those early fans include Lil Jon and DJ Snake, who tweeted about the song some 4 months after it was released. They then went on to release their 2014 song which, in additional to the title, contained other similarities. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a permanent injunction against the newer song.
The lawsuit is more noteworthy because representing the plaintiffs is Richard Busch, who not only worked for the plaintiffs in the Blurred Lines case but also won a recent settlement in a lawsuit over Ed Sheeran’s Photograph.
Next up today, Jem Aswad at Variety reports that Warner Music Group has, begrudging, extended its deal with YouTube and will allow the streaming site to use both their recorded music and compositions that they license (via Warner/Chappell).
According to a memo put out by Warner, the deal is shorter than usual, giving them more flexibility in the future, however, they felt compelled to take the deal because DMCA safe harbor provisions make it so that their music will appear on YouTube regardless of whether it is licensed or not.
In recent years, Warner has joined forced with other record labels to fight what it calls the “value gap” between YouTube and other providers, such as Spotify. They claim that, since YouTube can shield itself from liability with the DMCA, it pays far less per stream than other providers. They are seeking revisions in the law to better hold providers such as YouTube responsible if they profit directly from infringing material.
Finally today, Brad Flahve at Stuff reports that, over the weekend, U.S. comedian John Oliver set his sights on New Zealand again, this time over the copyright case that pits Eminem against the country’s National Party.
At issue is a commercial the National Party aired that featured a song very similar to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. The case has made it all the way to trial but Oliver took it one step farther than we do here at Plagiarism Today and aired clips from that trial.
One highlight was the Lose Yourself being played in the court while everyone remaining completely motionless while listening to it. Another involved a lawyer dryly describing the meaning of the song to the court. The bit is great and, if you haven’t seen it, I would definitely check it out.
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.