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First off today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that Rolan Beld, the son of Marc Bolan, has filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures over the use of the T. Rex song Deborah in the film Baby Driver.
According to the lawsuit, Sony “failed to obtain – or even seek – the permission of Feld” to use the song. It goes on to say that, when they brought the matter to Sony’s attention, Sony blamed its partners in the film (and now co-defendants). Beld only learned of the song’ use in the film when Sony Music contacted him seeking permission to include the song on the film’s soundtrack.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, Sony nor any of the other defendants had any comment.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a federal judge in Illinois has ruled that alleged KickassTorrents founder Artem Vaulin has been properly charged with a crime, namely conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
Vaulin is currently in custody in Poland for his part in running the site. He is fighting extradition but he, along with others in his position, had argued that there is no such crime as criminal secondary copyright infringement As such, Vaulin’s lawyers argued he should be allowed to go free.
However, the judge ruled that Vaulin was not charged under secondary copyright infringement, which is civil-only, but under conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Noting that criminal copyright infringement is clearly defined in the law, and a standard met by KickassTorrents, the judge ruled that the definition of conspiracy was defined elsewhere in the and was also met by the prosecution. This is a potential major win for copyright holders, who have often struggled to bring criminal cases against file sharing site operators.
Finally today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that attorney James S. Davis, who previously worked on behalf of Voltage Pictures and Millennium Films, has renounced copyright “trolling” and has filed a lawsuit against his former legal partner and former clients for allegedly deceiving him into it.
According to Davis, he was recruited into the practice by his former legal partner, Carl Crowell. The practice involves filing massive “John Doe” lawsuits against a large number of defendants suspected of sharing a film via BitTorrent. After having the court compel ISPs to identify the file sharers, the lawyers would then threaten the newly-identified defendants in hopes of obtaining a quick, but lucrative, settlement.
According to Davis, the goal of these lawsuits was not to win a judgment based on the merits of the argument, but to secure settlements that benefited mostly attorneys and other non-parties. According to records, Davis had worked on 58 cases for Voltage Pictures and his lawsuit is seeing at least $300,000 to compensate him for the time spent working on cases that were “legally and factually infirm”.
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.