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First off today, Sidney Madden at NPR reports that Eminem’s publisher, Eight Mile Style, has emerged victorious in their lawsuit against the National Party of New Zealand over the party’s use of a song very similar to the rapper’s hit Lose Yourself.
The party had used the song in an advertisement during the 2014 campaign. This prompted Eight Mile Style to file the lawsuit but the National Party argued that there were enough changes to ensure that the new version was not an infringement.
However, New Zealand’s High Court disagreed, ruling that the National Party should pay $600,000 NZ ($415,000 US) in damages. The damages could have been higher but the court found that the National Party was relying on experts and not “flagrant disregard” for the law.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled against Flo & Eddie of the band The Turtles, saying that here is no public performance right in the state for sound recordings.
The band, best known for their hit Happy Together, targeted Pandora and Sirius over the digital streaming of their music without paying royalties. Since pre-1972 sound recordings are protected under state law, the battle played out in state courts all over the country, with both sides reaching a settlement in the case last year.
However, the settlement amount hinged upon how many state courts ruled in favor of the band and the decision by the Florida Supreme Court is another setback for the band. The Florida court agreed with a recent decision from the New York Supreme Court that there is no public performance right for sound recordings in the state and that creating one now would be disruptive.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that CBS Broadcasting has filed a lawsuit against photographer Jon Tannen over his use of a still image from the TV series Gunsmoke on his social media accounts.
However, the lawsuit isn’t as straightforward as it appears. Tannen, along with other photographers, is suing CBS over CBS’ use of their images without permission or a licensing fee. The CBS lawsuit appears to be a retaliatory strike at Tannen.
Posting screenshots of TV shows is an extremely common practice (including on this site) and is widely considered to be a fair use under most circumstances. Nonetheless, CBS is asking for $150,000 in damages for willful copyright infringement.