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1: Judge Overturns Jury’s Verdict That ‘Jersey Boys’ Is a Copyright Infringement

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the lawsuit over the Broadway musical the Jersey Boys has taken another twist as a judge has vacated a jury verdict and found that the musical was a fair use.

The lawsuit was filed by Donna Corbello, the widow of Rex Woodard. Woodard worked with Four Seasons member Tommy Devito to write an autobiography about his time with the group. Woodard died before the book could be published but Corbello pressed on, enlisting the help of Devito. However, they claim Devito told them the book was not marketable but Jersey Boys debuted that same hear and Devito registered a literary work of his own at the same time.

Devito settled with Corbello and two of the remaining members of the group were cleared from liability. However, the rest of the case went to a jury which found that the musical’s producers had infringed the copyright of Woodard’s work. But the judge has now vacated that ruling, believing that the jury erred and that the alleged infringement was actually a fair use. The judge highlighted the small amount used of the work and the lack of market value for the autobiography before the musical.

2: BPI Breaks Record After Sending 310 Million Google Takedowns

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents record labels in the UK, has broken another milestone, having sent more than 310 million copyright takedown notices to Google.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), search engines such as Google are required to remove allegedly copyright infringement URLs when a notice is filed by the rightsholder. BPI has been especially aggressive in filing those takedowns, having sent millions of them to try and reduce the amount of pirate URLs in Google’s search index.

The 310 million mark is made all the more impressive by the fact that it was just in March 2016 that BPI hit the 200 million mark, meaning 110 million of them were in just the past year and two months. BPI took the moment to renew calls for a “takedown and staydown” system that it says would reduce the burden of filing such takedown notices by keeping pirate sites out of the search engines.

3: Authors Peeved by APA’s Article Takedown Pilot

Finally today, Aggie Mika at The Scientist reports that the American Psychological Association has begun searching the internet for unauthorized posting of journal articles and is filing takedown notices when it finds them.

The program, which was recently expanded to protect content from all 29 of its journals, ended up targeting at least some authors of papers published in APA journals. This included Fernanda Ferreira, who received such a notice for a copy of her paper posted on her lab’s site.

However, the APA has said that it will shift the focus of the program away from individuals and solely onto pirate sites. The APA also added that authors are able to post the final, accepted and pre-formatted versions of the articles on their sites. However, the final version may still prompt a copyright notice.


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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