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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that attorneys for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have petitioned the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear the Blurred Lines case en banc, meaning before the full panel of judges.
The duo were sued by the estate of Marvin Gaye over allegations that Blurred Lines was a copyright infringement of Gaye’s song Got to Give it Up. The case made it to a jury which, in a surprising decision, sided with the Gayes. Thicke and Williams appealed to the 9th Circuit, where a three-judge panel declined to overturn the jury’s verdict 2-1.
Thicke and Williams are now petitioning the 9th Circuit for an en banc hearing, which would put the matter before the full panel of nine judges. According to Thicke and Williams, the jury verdict is dangerous because it essentially lets a creator copyright an entire style of music. If that hearing is denied (or is also a defeat for them) they could petition the Supreme Court.
Next up today, Eric Auchard and Helena Soderpalm at Reuters reports that Spotify has acquired Loudr.fm, a San Francisco company that works to locate songwriters and publishers to pay mechanical royalties for the use of their music.
Spotify has been hit with a a $1.6 billion lawsuit filed by Wixen Publishing that alleges the service is not doing enough to pay songwriters, composers and publishers for the use of their work. Spotify, however, has long contested that it’s difficult if not impossible to locate the rightsholders and, as such, they are forced to simply set the money aside.
Loudr was founded in 2013 and provides a system for automatically acquiring mechanical licenses, which are compulsory under U.S. law. Spotify hopes that Loudr will help streamline the mechanical royalty process and is even having its team relocate to Spotify’s offices in New York to work on integrating the service.
Finally today, Beth Winegarner at SF Weekly reports that a judge has ruled Emma Cline’s book The Girls did not violate the copyright of her ex-boyfriend, but that other elements of the case may move forward.
Cline’s ex, Chaz Reetz-Laiolo, claims that Cline copied passages from some of his work and used it in her popular book. He also alleges that Cline used spyware to hack into his computer and spy on both his writing and his personal communications. Cline, on the other hand, accuses Reetz-Laiolo of being unfaithful and abusive during their short relationship.
According to the judge, while there is proof of access and some overlapping phrasing, the two works are extremely different. As such, he’s dismissed the copyright claims but it allowing the allegation surrounding the hacking to move forward.
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.