First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, has revived a lawsuit against the TV show Empire, saying that the district court erred in dismissing it with prejudice and that the plaintiff should have an opportunity to refile the matter.
The lawsuit was filed by Jon Astor-White, who is serving as his own attorney. He claims that the show is based upon his treatment for a TV series named King Solomon. However, the district court felt that Astor-White had failed to make his case and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, making it so that he could not refile it to correct the issues.
However, the Appeals Court has said that was premature. There, the tie-breaking judge said that the revolutionary nature of his treatment at the time it was written, namely when a severe lack of racial diversity on television, may mean that the treatment has enough protectable elements that are substantially similar to Empire for protection. As such, they’ve overruled the “with prejudice” portion of the district court’s decision and are giving Astor-White a chance to refile his lawsuit.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the major record labels (Universal, Warner Bros. and Sony) have filed a lawsuit in Virginia against two YouTube-ripping sizes, FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com.
Though the sites are reportedly operated out of Russia, the lawsuit indicates that they use servers located in Germany to provide MP3s to U.S. visitors. According to the lawsuit, the two sites have remained in operation despite repeated warnings from the RIAA and the IFPI.
The lawsuit also says that the two sites, which enable the ripping of music off of YouTube, receive more than 120 million monthly visitors. The RIAA, in a statement, said that it is hoping the lawsuit not only results in the closure of these sites but sends a warning to similar ones in operation.
Finally today, Charlotte Eyre at The Bookseller reports that the ebook piracy website Oceanofpdf has gone dark, though it’s not clear what the cause of the shutdown was.
The site had been in operation for the past seven months and had attracted the attention of several authors, several of whom tweeted at the site expressing anger. The owners had said that they plan to continue operations as long as they can but the site itself is down and the email associated with the domain is bouncing incoming mail.
Still, the reason for the site to go down is unknown even Martin Reed of the Society of Authors said that they don’t know what part of the supply chain pulled the plug on the site. The domain, which was registered through GoDaddy, is still active.
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.