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First off today, Douglas Busvine at Reuters reports that a group of academic publishers have reached an agreement with Researchgate, a site commonly referred to as “Facebook for scientists”, that partially resolves an ongoing copyright fight between them.
Researchgate has long earned the ire of publishers because its 15 million users share millions of research papers, many of which are owned by publishers and only available legally for a fee. This has resulted in an estimated 4 million allegedly infringing articles remaining on the service after Researchgate did a purge of 1.4 million last year.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Germany, may be getting more narrow as Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press and Thieme have all reached an agreement with Researchgate to resolve the issue. According to the agreement, Researchgate will streamilne the pprocess for removing alleged infringements as well as create tools to allow publishers to track how content is used. However, despite the settlement, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, an alliance of publishers that filed the lawsuit, say that they can not support the agreement and that they want Researchgate to implement technology to block the upload of infringing materials, not merely remove it later.
Next up today, Megan Farokhmanesh at The Verge reports that YouTuber Mars Argo, birth name Brittany Sheets, is suing a musician Poppy, played by actor Moriah Pereira, as well as her creator, Corey Mixter, over alleged copying of her gimmick and character.
According to the lawsuit, the first Poppy Video was released in November 2014, the same year that Sheets and Mixter ended a relationship that Sheets describes as abusive. Since then, Poppy has gone on to grow a very large audience with a pilot for a YouTube Red show entitle I’m Poppy premiering at Sundance.
The lawsuit points to overlapping “likeness, expression of ideas, sound, style” between the characters and includes several screenshots highlighting the similarities. Sheets claims she created the character but Mixter has long disputed that, even calling Sheets “a compulsive liar.” Neither Pereira nor Mixter have responded to the lawsuit publicly.
(Hat Tip: @acatwrites)
Finally today, Alex Putterman at Awful Announcing reports that Twitter has suspended the account of Rob Friedman, best known as PitchingNinja, after Major League Baseball filed a series of copyright notices over gifs made by Friedman and published to the site.
Friedman, a pitching coach, routinely made and published short gifs of MLB games for analysis on his Twitter feed. At the time of his suspension, had some 46,000 followers. However, now many of those followers are speaking out saying that the suspension was inappropriate and against the best interest of baseball as a whole.
The suspension may have come as the result of a war of words between Friedman and another sports commentator, Kevin Clancy. Friedman apparently accused Clancy of stealing a clip that he had made and, following a war of words, Clancy’s followers reported Friedman to Major League Baseball.
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.