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First off today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that Kanye West and Kid Cudi have hit back in a lawsuit filed against them over their 2018 song Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2) saying that the sample they used was a fair use.
The lawsuit was filed in March by actor Ronald Oslin Bobb-Semple who claimed that an unauthorized example of his vocal recording The Spirit of Marcus Garvey (Garvey speaks to an all-Black audience) appeared in the first fifteen seconds of the song. According to Bobb-Semple, the entirety of the song sprang from his sample, prompting him to sue for copyright infringement and claim that the use is not a fair use.
However, West, Cudi and the other defendants counter that by saying it is indeed a fair use, noting that the sample was only a few seconds from a 45-minute performance. That said, the case could prove to be very important as most sampling lawsuits look at the composition, not the audio recording. This will be one of the few that looks at the sampling of an audio recording itself.
2: Hong Kong Customs Officers Seize Counterfeit Games and Illegal Piracy Devices in Raid at Shopping Centre in Sham Shui Po
Next up today, Clifford Lo at the South China Morning Post reports that, in Hong Kong, customs officers have raided various outlets and stores in a computer shopping center and have seized some 27 circumvention devices and 110 sets of consoles loaded with pirated games.
The operation spearheaded by copyright holders that sent in English-speaking staff to make the initial transactions. This was because many of the retailers would only sell to either tourists or regulars in a bid to avoid getting caught.
In addition to the seized goods, some five suspects were arrested and later released on bail. Two of the men arrested were shop owners and the remaining three were assistants.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the publishing company Shogakukan has obtained a DMCA subpoena that compels YouTube to hand over personal details of alleged manga pirates.
Mangas are Japanese comic books and graphic novels. While YouTube might not seem like a great place to pirate them, many users upload them as videos, displaying panels in sequence and overlaying with music. However, Shogakukan wasn’t merely content on removing or disabling access to such videos and instead also asked a California court to issue a DMCA subpoena, one that requires YouTube to turn over any identifying information they have on the user.
To be clear, DMCA subpoenas are not approved by a judge and, instead, are signed off on by a clerk of court. That comes into issue here as some feel these particular subpoenas were overly broad, asking for other information connected to the users’ Google accounts. All in all, 6 users across 12 videos were impacted by this particular subpoena.