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1: VidAngel Loses Bid to Have New Service Cleared by Court

First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that VidAngel has lost its bid to have a court rule its new service is non-infringing. However, the court made that decision on lack of information, not a claim that it is actually infringing.

VidAngel started life as a film streaming service that allowed users to filter objectionable content. Though the creation of filters and filtering software is legal, film studios objected to VidAngels approach of allowing customers to “purchase” a DVD for $20 and then “sell” it back for $19 after they were done streaming it. The court agreed and granted the studios an injunction against VidAngel, which had kept it largely offline until recently.

That was when VidAngel launched a new service that tied into Netflix and other streaming services to provide filtered versions of those films. VidAngel had sought to their new approach ruled as non-infringing but the studios still objected, saying that the new streams originated from VidAngel’s servers, not Netflix’s, and still illegally streamed copies ripped from DVDs. The court, however, has decided that it doesn’t have enough information about the new service to render a decision to issue a ruling at this time. However, a hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday, where more may be learned.

2: Frank Ocean T-Shirt at Center of Debate Over Tweet Copyright

Next up today, Daniel Kreps at Rolling Stone reports that a t-shirt worn by Frank Ocean during the recent Panorama Festival became both a viral sensation and a cause for copyright concern.

During his performance at the festival, Ocean wore a white shirt with the phrase, “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?” The shirt was a hit and was traced to an online merchant Green Box Shop, which was inundated with 5,500 for it.

However, it was also discovered that the shop’s owner took the quote from a tweet by New York student Brandon Male. Male has not filed a cease and desist in the case but has repeatedly tweeted his displeasure. More to the point though, the two sides also talked Monday in an attempt to reach a compromise in terms of compensation and credit.

3: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Makers Sued by Psychic Readers Network Over Miss Cleo ‘Doppelganger’

Finally today, Tim Kenneally at The Wrap reports that Rockstar Games, the makers of the Grand Theft Auto series of games, has been sued by Psychic Readers Network over a “doppelganger” if Miss Cleo included in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The case involves a character in the game named Aunti Poulet who, according the lawsuit, is based on Psychic Readers Network’s character Miss Cleo. The network describes Miss Cleo as a “Widely known television informercial psychic, who PRN spent in excess of $100 million promoting.”

The lawsuit alleges that Rockstar didn’t just copy the mannerisms and character of Miss Cleo, but went as far as to hire the same actor to do the voice work. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement and unjust infringement. Interestingly, the game involved was released in October 2002.

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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