First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the musician Drake has won a summary judgment in a sampling case where he had argued that the use of the sample was a fair use.
The case was filed by the estate of James Oscar Smith, known as the jazz musician Jimmy Smith. According to the lawsuit suit, Drake’s 2013 song Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2 used a sample from Smith’s 1982 spoken word recording Jimmy Smith Rap. In the original, Smith spoke about how jazz music will be the only music to last but Drake altered it to make it so that only “real” music is going to last.
That change in meaning was enough to convince the judge that the use was transformative and a fair use, saying it created a new expression. The judge further found that the amount taken for the sample was “reasonable” and that no infringement took place. The decision may be appealed but there is no word yet if the estate has any plans to do so.
Next up today, Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that Robert Cabell’s case against Zorro Productions Inc (ZPI) lives to fight another day as the judge allows at least a portion of the lawsuit to continue.
In the lawsuit Cabell claims that, in 2015, had previously attempted to create a Broadway production based on the character Zorro but ZPI threatened litigation against him, effectively ending the effort. He further claims he wrote a story based on the character in 1996 only to have it stolen by a ZPI-financed novel nearly a decade later.
Cabell is suing for both copyright infringement and to prove that Zorro, at least the original character, is in the public domain. According to Cabell, the copyright on the original story and the first film have long expired. The judge, in partially denying ZPI’s motion to dismiss, is allowing both of those claims to move forward.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, in Israel, a local anti-piracy group has secured the closure of several Kodi repositories and settlements from the operators that both secure damages and stiff penalties if they relaunch.
In Israel, the Kodi streaming player itself is not illegal, it is simply an open source home streaming device for accessing legitimate services. However, third-party repositories have turned it into a powerful tool for piracy and the Israeli anti-piracy group ZIRA targeted several such repositories of third-party Kodi software.
Three such sites ceased operation abruptly this week with with ZIRA announcing that the operators had agreed to pay a small settlement with a promise of a much larger one if the sites reappear. The move also had an impact on the streaming side, with at least one provider dropping Israeli content.
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.