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First off today, Rhett Jones at Gizmodo reports that a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice sent to the organizers of the ad blocking list EasyList sent shockwaves through the community though the situation appears to be more complicated.
The notice was filed by the anti-ad blocking service Admiral, which claimed that the inclusion of one of their domains was a violation of copyright. The reason, according to Admiral, is that the domain involved is used to restrict ad blocking users from accessing websites. According to Admiral, that made the inclusion of the URL tantamount to a circumvention tool and a violation under the DMCA, warranting the notice.
Regardless, the notice sent shockwaves through the ad blocking community. EasyList is one of the most popular ad blocking lists. However, the organizers of the list agree that inclusion of the domain was improper and should have been removed, even without a DMCA notice.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that both sides in the dispute over We Shall Overcome have filed their motions for summary judgment and the case will likely hinge on whether changing two words is enough to create a new, copyright-protectable work.
The lawsuit was filed by the production comany behind the film The Butler, which declined to use the song after being asked for a $100,000 licensing fee. They sued The Richmond Organization and Ludlow Music alleging that the song is in the public domain. Their logic is that the song is based on an old African-American spiritual that has long had its copyright protection expire.
However, the publishers have cited changes and contributions by folm singer Pete Seeger including changing “We Will Overcome” to “We Shall Overcome” and “down in my heart” to “deep in my heart”. According to the publishers, these changes altered the meaning of the song but the plaintiffs claim that the changes are superficial and note that the rest of the lyrics as well as the music are the same.
Finally today, World Intellectual Property Review reports that the Star Athletica lawsuit has ended not with a bang, but with a very unusual settlement that only sees one side agreeing to the terms.
The lawsuit was filed by competitor Varsity, which alleged that several of Star Athletica cheerleader uniforms infringed their copyright. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled 6-2 that the stripes, chevrons and other non-functional elements of the cheerleader uniform could be protected by copyright.
The ruling sent the case back down to the lower court. However, the judge there has accepted a settlement between Varsity and Star Athletica’s insurer. Even though Star Athletica wishes to pursue the case, believing there to be other issues to tackle, the settlement brings the issue to a close.
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.