3 Count: Skeptical Appealing

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1: Appeals Court Skeptical About Overturning Marvin Gaye Family’s “Blurred Lines” Victory

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had their day before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but were greeted with skepticism as they attempted to overturn a lower court ruling in the Blurred Lines case.

The pair were sued by heirs to Marvin Gaye over allegations that the song Blurred Lines was a copyright infringement of the Marvin Gaye song Got to Give it Up. Despite some initial setbacks, the Gaye estate managed to win a surprising victory in the lower court but the case was immediately appealed to the 9th Circuit.

Attorneys for Thicke and Williams argued that the verdict should be thrown out because the judge did not adequately filter out non-protectable elements, namely the sound recording. However, the Gaye estate argued that they were litigating the case with a severe handicap because of pre-1972 sound recording and the case would have been much easier for the if the song had been modern. Where the judges were open to the Gaye estate’s arguments, they seemed openly skeptical of the ones put forth by Thicke and Williams, indicating their likely feelings.

2: Publishers take ResearchGate to Court, Alleging Massive Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Dalmeet Singh Chawla at Science Magazine reports that, in Germany, research publishing giants Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have filed lawsuit against the academic social networking site ResearchGate.

Though primarily a place for academics to interact and meet online, ResearchGate also allows users to share files on their personal pages, including published papers. Recently an organization entitled the Coalition for Responsible Sharing approached ResearchGate about the issue of user infringement but claim that ResearchGate demand that they send takedown notices to get allegedly infringing material removed.

The publishers did not feel that was a good long-term solution and felt that ResearchGate’s business model was dependent upon the copyright infringement. As such, two members of the group, ACS and Elsevier, have opted to take ResearchGate to court in the company’s native Germany. This comes at the same time the two have an ongoing case against Sci-Hub, a piracy site for research papers, and they have won a default judgment in that case.

3: This Forest Hill Couple Sued Their Neighbors for $2.5 Million Over a House They Claim Was Renovated to Look Like Theirs

Finally today, Vjosa Isai at the Toronto Star reports that Canadian homeowners Jason and Jodi Chapnik filed lawsuit against their neighbors alleging that the nearby house is copying the style of their home and damaging the value of their house.

The couple sued Barbara Ann Kirsshenblatt, her builder husband, architect bother in law and the real estate agent responsible for the recent sale for copyright infringement. They allege that the family copied elements from their house in order to raise its value. However, the defendants claimed that they were inspired not by their neighbor, but by Tudor cottages and provided photographs to prove their point.

Despite going on for three years the arguments were never proved in court. The case was eventually settled though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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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