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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Zorro Productions Inc (ZPI) is well known for its hold on the rights to the iconic character but now finds itself not in the plaintiff’s chair, but in the defendant’s side of a lawsuit.
The story deals with playwright Robert Cabell, who, in 1996, published a musical entitle Z- The Musical of Zorro that based on the character but only drew from works already in the public domain. This started a legal tussle that ended in 2004 when both sides signed a “walk away” agreement to pave the way for a new Zorro film. However, that reprieve only lasted until 2005 when ZPI authorized a new Zorro musical that, like Cabell’s focused on Zorro’s earlier years. This led to a renewed legal fight that began in 2013 and continues today.
However, in a Twist, a judge has ruled that Cabell’s musical is non-infringing since ZPI did not challenge his motion for summary judgment. However, now ZPI may be facing a trial for infringing Cabell’s work since, according to Cabell, ZPI used original elements from his musical. The judge agrees that a reasonable juror could see substantial similarity between the two works, denying a summary judgment on that and setting the case to a possible trial, but one where ZPI is the accused infringer…
Next up today, Jon Levine at The Wrap reports that TVEyes has dropped Fox News and Fox Business from its clipping service, a move that comes after the company lost an appeal in the Second Circuit over its use of Fox’s content in their service.
TVEyes is a tv clipping service that allows users to search for and find relevant clips of news coverage. TVEyes also enabled sharing, downloading and streaming of those clips. This prompted Fox News to file a lawsuit and they eventually won both in the lower court and on appeal.
TVEyes did say it would continue to provide alerts and search results for Fox content but that it would not provide the clips. Fox News is lauding the decision, saying that it ends a long-running legal fight over the use of their content.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that a technical glitch with Roku devices led to many legitimate channels being blocked on copyright grounds.
Earlier this week, Roku users who attempted to open up apps such as the Netflix and YouTube app were greeted with an FBI anti-piracy warning and nothing more. The issue also affected other channels as well.
According to Roku, the problem wasn’t overzealous rightsholders but rather a technical glitch in a new anti-piracy system they’ve implemented. Users who are impacted by the issue are encouraged to update their Roku’s firmware to restore access to the affected channels.
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.