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1: ‘Zootopia’ Lawsuit: Plot Similarities Detailed by Writer Suing Disney

First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Esplanade Pictures has responded to Disney in the Zootopia lawsuit by pointing out specific similarities that it believes makes the Disney film a copyright infringement.

In the lawsuit, Esplanade Pictures alleged that Disney had infringed the work of writer Gary L. Goldman, who is a prominent Hollywood writer. Goldman claims to have pitched the idea for Zootopia to Disney but Disney ran with the idea without licensing it from him. Disney responded by saying that there was no proof of any copyright protected elements being copied and noted many differences between the Goldman’s proposal and the final movie.

Now Esplanade Pictures has responded by pointing out specific similarities between the films, including similarities in the main character, the name of the location and the plot twist. Disney did not deny that it had met with Goldman, which Esplanade Pictures highlighted as proving access is one of the required steps for a successful copyright infringement lawsuit.

2: Popular Kodi Add-Ons Quit Following Prominent Piracy Lawsuit

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Dish Network, several prominent Kodi add-on developers have stopped development of their offerings and shut down their projects.

The lawsuit pits Dish Network against the maker of the ZemTV add-on and the TVAddons site that distributed it. Dish accuses ZemTV of copyright infringement for illegally streaming its channels to its users and TVAddons of supporting that infringement. In the 48 hours since that lawsuit was announced developer Cosmix, best known for the Phoenix add-on, and One242415, best known for Navi-X and Mashup, made a similar decision. The developer Echo Coder made a similar decision.

The Kodi platform is an open source streaming platform aimed to be a competitor with AppleTV and Amazon’s FireTV. Though it is not infringing on its own, many developers have created add-ons that enable access to copyright-infringing materials. The Dish lawsuit, however, represents the first time that a developer has been seriously targeted for that infringement.

3: Sony Pictures is Releasing Clean Versions of its Movies to Ward Off Would-Be Copycats

Finally today, Katie Kilkenny at Pacific Standards reports that Sony Pictures has launched a new Clean Version initiative that will allow movie purchasers to opt for “clean” versions of its fils through iTunes VUDU and FandangoNOW.

The service launches with some 24 films where Sony has edited out adult content. It comes amid an ongoing lawsuit against the movie streaming service VidAngel, which has attempted to launch a family friendly streaming service. Though the Family Movie Act makes the creation of filtering software legal, movie studios took issue with the unlicensed streaming of their films (through a process where users “buy” DVDs and sell them back) and filed a lawsuit.

Sony is not part of the VidAngel lawsuit but is jumping on the movie editing game itself through this Clean Version initiative. It’s unclear when additional films will be added to the initiative.

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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