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First off today, Reuters reports that the Danish toymaker Lego has scored a major victory in China as a court found local toymaker in violation of Lego’s copyright for copying its iconic brick design.
The case pitted Lego against the local company Bela. Bela had been selling imitation Lego bricks but Lego filed a lawsuit against them. The China Shantou Intermedia People’s Court sided with Lego saying that “certain Bela products infringed upon the copyrights of the Lego Group and that manufacturing and selling of those products constituted acts of unfair competition.”
Bela’s products had been almost identical to Lego, including in logo and packaging. The result of this victory is that Bela will no longer be able to sell any of the infringing products.
Next up today, SeeNews reports that the European Commission has referred Bulgaria and Romania to the Court of Justice for the EU over their alleged failure to comply with EU rules on collective management of copyright and related rights.
At issue is both of the country’s allegedly failure to meet the standards of the Collective Rights Management Directive, which oversees how all collective rights management organizations operate. It establishes common governance, transparency requirements and financial management standards of such organizations.
The European Commission is seeking fines of 19,122 euro ($22,500) per day on Bulgaria and 42,378 ($50,000) per day on Romania.
Finally today, Adam Hetrick at Playbill reports that the Off-Broadway play Who’s Holiday is a hit of the season but that only came about after a cancelled opening and a year-long legal battle over the play.
The play, written by Matthew Lombardo, is a comedic take on Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas focusing on the life of Cindy Lou Who in the years that followed the famous holiday story. However, before it could open in 2016, the performance was cancelled following a cease and desist letter from the Seuss estate. Lombardo refused to give up and fought back, filing a lawsuit against the Seuss estate and eventually getting a court to rule that the play was a fair use of Dr. Seuss’ original work.
The decision followed a 2015 case involving a play name 3C, which was a parody of Three’s Company. Lombardo credits that case with emboldening him to take action despite reservations about suing the Seuss estate.
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.