Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Jun Ji-hye at the Korea Times reports that Korean game developer PUBG, makers of the popular game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, have filed a lawsuit against U.S.-based Epic Games, makers of the also popular game Fortnite.
PUBG, and its parent Bluehole, have filed the lawsuit alleging that Fortnite copied not just the “Battle Royale” style of gameplay but also copied UI elements and in-game items. They are seeking an injunction that they hope will bar Epic Games from running their game in South Korea.
The lawsuit was filed in January but has just become public. Both games feature a Battle Royale mode where 100 players are dropped onto an island to find weapons and survive. PUBG was the first to introduce it in a video game, and they say they were inspired by the Japanese film Battle Royale.
Next up today, Ben Beaumont-Thomas at The Guardian reports that Spotify has agreed to pay out some $112 million to composers who were underpaid royalties now that a judge has approved the settlement after a year of waiting.
The lawsuit is actually a combination of two different class action cases. The first was filed by David Lowery, a musicians’ rights advocate best known for the band Camper Van Beethoven, and the second was from Melissa Ferrick a songwriter and music publisher. They had alleged that Spotify had underpaid songwriters and composers for the use of their music.
The settlement had been reached back in May 2017 but one publisher, Wixen, opposed it and even filed a separate lawsuit. According to Wixen, the settlement gave Spotify a free pass on willful infringement. However, now that the settlement has been approved, the case is placed to rest. Spotify will pay $43.5 million in cash upfront and the rest will be paid in ongoing royalties.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that ComicMix has defeated the trademark claims in the lawsuit over Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go, leaving only the copyright claims behind.
The lawsuit was filed by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that controls the rights to Dr. Seuss’ work. They claimed the crowdfunded parody children’s book, which was a mashup of Dr. Seuss and Star Trek, was both a copyright and trademark infringement and sought both damages and an injunction against it.
However, the judge in the case has dismissed the trademark claims, finding that the use of the marks was a nominative fair use. The judge reached this conclusion largely due to a a separate lawsuit over the TV show Empire, which was sued by the record label of the same name. Fox, the makers of Empire, won that lawsuit on the grounds of the Rogers test, which looks at the artistic merit of the lawsuit. With the trademark claims dismissed, only the copyright claims remain.
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.