3 Count: Spinal Tapped

Taking the lawsuit to 11...

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1: Spinal Tap Creators Amend Their Vivendi Litigation, Add Universal Music as a Defendant

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that members of the band Spinal Tap have amended their lawsuit Vivendi to both add Universal Music as a defendant and expanded on their copyright reversion arguments.

The lawsuit pits the members of Spinal Tap, namely Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner, against the rightsholders of the famous mockumentary film featuring them. According to the lawsuit, Vivendi owes them millions in underreported revenues. The group is also suing to reclaim their rights to the music and Spinal Tap concept under copyright reversion.

Copyright reversion allows creators to reclaim rights to such works after 35 years. However, Vivendi is arguing that the film and music were a work for hire, meaning its ineligible for copyright reversion. This is despite the fact the four men had created the band years before working on the film. Previously the band had only been seeking a declaratory judgment related the rights in the film but, after adding Universal Music to the lawsuit, is expanding it to include the film, screenplay, compositions and sound recordings.

2: UK ‘Pirate’ Kodi Box Seller Handed a Suspended Prison Sentence

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, in the UK, two vendors of “fully loaded” Kodi boxes have been given suspended sentences and will avoid jail time.

The vendors, Brian Thompson and Julian Allen worked together to sell the boxes to co nsumers. Thompson famously sold the boxes in a shop that was raided by police. Though he had initially planned on fighting the charges, he had a sudden change of heart and pleaded guilty. Allen, who sold boxes to Thompson also pleaded guilty.

Despite significant profits from the boxes, both men received suspended sentences. Thompson’s was 18 months suspended for 2 years and Allen’s was 21 months also suspended for 2 years.

3: Victory Sees Galleries Rushing to Put Albert Namatjira in his Place

Finally today, Rosemary Neill at The Australian reports that interest in the art of Albert Namatjira has reached a fever pitch after a donation saw the rights to his work return to his heirs.

The remaining rights were sold away from the family by the estate’s executor in 1959. Those rights, along with the rights sold before he died, were donated back to the estate and placed in a trust for the family.

According to representatives for that trust, they have been “inundated” with requests from museums and galleries wanting to exhibit Namatjira’s work as the story has created a renewed interest in the artist.


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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