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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has dismissed Playboy’s lawsuit against Boing Boing (or rather, its owner, Happy Mutants) saying that the publisher has yet to prove that the site should be held liable for linking to hundreds of images of Playboy centerfolds.
The case centers around a February 2016 post where Boing Boing pointed to a collection of images on Imgur that included every Playboy centerfold to that time. The judge, citing a 2014 decision involving Quinten Tarantino’s lawsuit against Gawker Media over linking to a leaked script of The Hateful Eight, dismissed the lawsuit saying that burden of proving infringement had not been met.
According to the judge, the liability exists only if the defendant engaged in personal conduct that encouraged or assisted the infringement, not that the if they merely provided a means. The judge, however, gave Playboy until February 26 to file an amended complaint to address these issues.
Next up today, Laura Snapes at The Guardian reports that Taylor Swift has emerged victorious in a lawsuit over her hit song Shake It Off as a judge has granted her motion to dismiss.
The lawsuit was fled by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler who alleged that Swift’s 2014 hit was an infringement of their 2000 song Playas Gon’ Play. At specific issue was a series of lyrics that included the iconic “Players gonna play” chorus.
However, the judge felt that the concepts involved were already a part of American culture by the time either song was released and that the lyrics involved did not have the originality creativity required for copyright protection on their own. As such, the judge dismissed the case but the plaintiffs are free to refile, if they can find a way to bolster their arguments.
Finally today, Roland Moore-Colyer at The Inquirer reports that the judge in the TickBox case has updated the injunction and now the streaming box provider must also remove copyright-infringing add-ons from the streaming devices it’s already sold.
TickBox is a set top box similar to a Roku or an Apple TV that runs the open source Kodi software. Though Kodi is not inherently a copyright infringing platform, many of the add-ons and services that are built upon it enable piracy. TickBox was sued for allegedly selling their Kodi boxes various piracy-enabling add-ons preinstalled and advertising the product as a means to avoid cable and streaming subscription fees.
Rightsholders, which include Netflix, Amazon and several major film/TV studios, had already secured an injunction greatly limiting what TickBox could offer. However, that injunction has now been expanded to require TickBox to issue an update that removes all copyright infringing add-ons on existing boxes and limit the user’s ability to trivially access them in the future.
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.