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First off today, Marc Hershberg at Forbes reports that the estate of Harold Arlen has filed a lawsuit against Apple, Google, Amazon and others for allegedly selling and streaming unlicensed copies of songs that Arlen composed, including his best-known work Over the Rainbow.
At specific issue are cheaper variations of the same songs. For example, in a “best of” or “classics” collection one of Arlen’s songs may be 99 cents though, on the regular album, they are $1.29. The estate claims many of these cheaper albums come from labels or distributors that are not licensed, claiming that the label’s logo is often edited out of the artwork.
The lawsuit was filed just days after a Supreme Court decision allowed customers to file a class action lawsuit against Apple over alleged anti-competitive practices with its Apple Store.
Next up today, Jacqueline Thomsen at The Hill reports that the judge in the “Pepe the Frog” lawsuit has said that the case will go to a trial so that a jury can determine whether or not the character’s creator based it on an earlier work.
Pepe was famously coopted by conservative groups and several sites began to sell posted and other merchandize featuring it. This prompted the character’s creator, Matt Furie, to file a lawsuit against some of those including InfoWars and Milo Yiannopoulos for copyright infringement.
The judge in the case largely ruled in favor of Furie on a summary judgment but said that there were two issues of fact that required a jury. The first was whether Furie had based Pepe on an earlier work or whether he had given up control of the character when he made statements expressing his frustration over the character’s connection with the alt-right.
Finally today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that the musical group the Flobots has filed a lawsuit against Logan Paul claiming that Paul’s 2017 song No Handlebars copies elements from their 2008 song Handlebars.
The lawsuit claims that Paul’s song “copies prominent, qualitatively and quantitively important, original parts” from their work. The Flobots focus in specifically on similar instrumentation, which they claim to be “very unusual in the genre” and similar to identical lyrics between the two songs.
They are seeking actual damages, an injunction barring further infringement and a “running royalty on all future exploitations” of their work.