3 Count: Litigating Rainbow

Butterfly in the sky, I can get sued twice as high...

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1: Monkey Selfie Animal Rights Brouhaha Devolves into a Settlement

First off today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that the “monkey selfie” case may be coming to an end soon as PETA appears to be reaching a settlement with photographer David Slater.

The case began when a macaque monkey named Naruto snatched Slater’s camera and snapped an iconic selfie that was later published in Slater’s book. PETA, however, sued Slater for copyright infringement saying that, as the photographer, Naruto was the copyright holder and Slater never obtained permission to use the photograph. However, the lower court ruled against PETA’s arguments and, at a hearing before the appeals court, judges expressed still more skepticism.

Now the two sides have now told the appeals court that a settlement is near. The likely motivation for such a settlement is that, under U.S. law, judges can order losers in copyright cases to pay the winning side’s attorney fees, possibly putting PETA on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, that is speculation as there is no confirmation from either side as to what is in the deal.

2: LeVar Burton Sued in ‘Reading Rainbow’ Copyright Dispute

Next up today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that actor and former Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton has been sued by PBS affiliate WNED over the rights to the popular show after a plan for an online revival of the series.

According to the lawsuit, Burton’s company, RRKidz, obtained a license in 2011 to create and online version of the show. However, by 2015 things had changed and WNED sought to terminate the license, having all rights revert back to them. RRKidz has protested that termination and the matter is still before the courts.

In the meantime though, WNED says that RRKidz transferred the rights to a company owned by a friend of Burton’s. They then moved the contents of the Reading Rainbow site to “levarburtonkids.com” and rebranding various elements under Burton’s name. The lawsuit also accuses Burton of using the Reading Rainbow name and slogan for his podcast. The lawsuit alleges both copyright and trademark infringement as well as cybersquatting.

3: Foxtel Continues Game of Whack-a-Pirate

Finally today, Corinne Reichert at ZDNet reports that Australian pay TV provider Foxtel is asking the courts to block an additional 128 domains it says belong to foreign copyright-infringing websites.

Foxtel has been one oft the largest users of the website blocking legislation, which was passed in 2015. However, the current crop of domains is one of the largest it has targeted to date.

Though previous efforts have been targeted at all of the domains owned by a major piracy websites, such as The Pirate Bay, the current effort targets a wide variety of lesser-known sites including Yes Movies, Watch Series, 1337x and Putlocker.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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