3 Count: De Minimis

Not all copying is infringing...

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1: HBO Wins Copyright Infringement Case Over Graffiti Artist Relying On The De Minimis Copyright Exception

First off today, Krista Cox at Above the Law reports that HBO has emerged victorious in a lawsuit against grafitti artist Itoffee R. Gayle after the court ruled that the use of Gayle’s work was de minimis, meaning it was too small to warrant the court’s attention.

Gayle sued HBO after his work appeared in one episode of the HBO show Vinyl. The scene, which featured a woman walking down a New York City street, briefly showed one of Gayle’s work as the shot passed by a dumpster. Though the work was only on screen for a few seconds in the background, Gayle sued for copyright infringement, claiming that he was not asked for nor had given permission for the use of his work.

However, the court ruled that the use was so trivial as to qualify as de minimis. De minimis, is a concept in copyright law where a copying is so insignificant that it was not unlawful. Having found the use de minimis, the court didn’t even look at the fair use factors and, instead, dismissed the case outright.

2: Infamous Kodi Library TVAddons Has Denied Copyright Infringement Allegations in Court

Next up today, Tom Pritchard at Gizmodo UK reports that TVAddons has responded to the lawsuit filed against them by Dish Network and, in their response, have denied copyright infringement.

TVAddons was a site that distributed addons for the Kodi player. Kodi players, like other set-top boxes, allow access to legal content but Kodi players can be modified to allow access to pirated material. TVAddons, before its closure, enabled users to download just such addons. This prompted Dish Network to file a lawsuit after several addons provided by the site enabled access to Dish-owned channels that were limited to Dish customers. In particular the lawsuit targeted ZemTV, an addon that enabled access to pirated versions of those channels.

However, after crowdfunding a legal defense, the owners of TVAddons have denied that they had the “ability to supervise and control” the infringing activity that took place in ZemTV. Furthermore, they took issues with the way the lawsuit was filed, noting it combined allegations of contributing and inducing copyright infringement, and also with the damages Dish Network sought given the lack of a copyright registration.

3: Singapore ISPs Block 53 Pirate Sites Following MPAA Legal Action

Finally today, Andy at  Torrentfreak writes that the Singapore High Court has ordered local ISPs to block access to some 53 piracy websites due to an application filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The petition uses a 2014 law that makes it possible for rightsholders to demand that ISPs block such websites. The current wave targets some 53 websites across 154 domains that local ISPs must make inaccessible.

While the blocking order isn’t the first under the law, it is by far the most significant. The order comes after the High Court was satisfied that the sites involved were “flagrantly infringing” copyright.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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