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First off today, Lynsey Chutel at Quartz reports that British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor has filed a lawsuit against Kendrick Lamar over the music video for the song All the Stars and Lamar has now responded to that lawsuit.
The song, which was featured in the recent Black Panther movie, had a standalone music video that featured African imagery that Viktor feels was taken from her artwork. In filing the lawsuit, she said that the use was “willful, brazen, and extensive unlawful”. However, in their response, Lamar and the other defendants, claimed that any infringements, if there were any, were innocent and constituted fair use.
Viktor claims that she was twice approached by Marvel for use of her work but declined after a deal couldn’t be made. Lamar’s lawyers have denied every paragraph in Viktor’s original claim. Both sides are pushing for a jury trial in a New York district court.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Jerry Seinfeld is facing a ramped-up lawsuit over his hit show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, with a fellow comedian claiming that he came up with the concept, worked with Seinfeld to create it but was eventually cut out of the show entirely.
The l;awsuit was originally filed in February by comedian Christian Charles. According to Charles, he had worked closely with Seinfeld for many years and the two developed the concept together, which Charles doing much of the work. However, after a dispute over money, Seinfeld took the show and ran with it, eventually selling it to Netflix for $100 million, even though Charles says he never signed a work-for-hire agreement.
When Charles originally filed the lawsuit, he did so pro se, meaning without an attorney. However, Charles has since found representation and that lawyer has helped file an amended complaint that details more of the history between the two comedians. Lawyers representing Seinfeld had filed a motion to dismiss, calling the lawsuit belated and frivolous, but that motion will have to be refiled in the face of the amended complaint.
Finally today, Jon Brookin at Ars Technical reports that FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has drafted a letter to both Amazon and eBay to ask the online retailers to take stronger action to block the sale of “pirate” TV boxes, many of which carry fake FCC logos.
Amazon responded quickly saying that it already works to keep such boxes off of its site and has joined lawsuits against the makers of such boxes, which are often used to access sources of pirated content.
But, while O’Rielly’s letter admits both retailers have policies against such boxes, it says that they could and should do more. This includes the targeting of “red flag” phrases such as “fully loaded” and “never pay another cable bill” that strongly indicate the box is used for infringing purposes.
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.