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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has mostly upheld the lower court decision in the Blurred Lines case, allowing $5.3 million judgment against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to stand.
The case pitted the estate of Marvin Gaye against Thicke and Williams. According to the estate, Thicke’s 2013 song Blurred Lines was a copyright infringement of the Gaye’s 1973 song Got to Give it Up. In a controversial verdict, a jury not only found that the song was infringing but awarded the estate a $5.3 million judgment for the infringement. Thicke and Williams appealed and now the 9th Circuit, in a divided ruling, has largely upheld the lower court’s findings.
According to the majority opinion, the verdict was not against the clear weight of the evidence and should not be overturned. The majority also rejected a claim by the defendants that, since the Gaye estate only held the copyright in the composition, that they should have “thin” protection. The one victory for the defendants is that the court did agree that the rapper T.I., who was a guest musician on Blurred Lines, should not be held liable. The three judge panel was split 2-1 on the verdict with Judge Jacqueline Nguyen offering a strong dissent.
Next up today, Tyler McCall at Fashionista reports that Jordan Outdoor Enterprises has filed a lawsuit against Yeezy Apparel and UNKNWN, fashion lines owned by Kanye West and Lebron James respectively, over their use of the Jordan’s Realtree camo pattern.
According to Jordan, they were contacted by Yeezy in 2016 to discuss the use of the camo but the conversation never progressed. However, sometime later they allege that their camo pattern began to appear on Yeezy products in violation of both their copyrights and their trademarks.
Jordan is asking for unspecified damages, an injunction barring the sale of the allegedly infringing merchandise and the destruction of any product already created.
Finally today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that anti-piracy consultants Muso have released a new report that claims global piracy increased in 2017, even though film piracy saw a decline.
According to the report, there was some 300 billion visits to pirate websites last year, up 1.6% from the previous year. 53% of that piracy was on streaming websites with television content being the most desired. Television and music piracy were up when compared to the previous year, with music rising 14.5%, but film piracy saw a small decline.
According to the report, the United States is home to the most pirates as the country accounted for 27.9 billion visits to such sites. Russia was next with 20.6 billion visits. However, the report left out China, Taiwan, Japan and the Koreas. Though Muso now tracks those countries, they did not in 2016 and adding them would have invalided the year-to-year comparison.