3 Count: CASE Forward

Plus the battle over Dark Horse...

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1: Major CASE Act Copyright Legislation Passed by Senate Judiciary Committee

First off today, DL Cade at PetaPixel reports that the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) has come one step closer to reality as it has been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and may be headed to a full vote on the Senate floor.

The bill would create a copyright small claims court that would be headed by officers at the U.S. Copyright Office. The court would be opt-in, meaning that both plaintiffs and defendants would be required to agree to the process, and the damages it could claim would be limited to $15,000 per infringed work and $30,000 total.

Though the legislation has strong bipartisan support, the act has received criticism over concerns of potential abuse. Nonetheless, rightsholder organizations have shown strong support for the CASE Act, saying it is a much needed step in reducing the cost of copyright litigation.

2: Musicologist Backs Up Copyright Infringement Claim Against Katy Perry on Day Two of ‘Dark Horse’ Trial

Next up today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that the trial over the Katy Perry Song Dark Horse is moving ongoing and not only has Katy Perry herself taken the stand but musicologists for the plaintiff are trying to make the argument that the songs involved are similar.

The case deals with Perry’s 2013 song Dark Horse and whether it is an infringement of the 2008 Christian rap song Joyful Noise. To that end, there has been a great deal of testimony including a musicologist that attempted to point out similarities between the works, other testimony to point to the millions of streams Joyful Noise had received before 2013 and around claims that one of the people who worked on Dark Horse, Chike Ojukwu, was also a producer credited on the album Joyful Noise was released on.

The defense, predictably, has been trying to poke holes on that by both distancing Ojukwu from Joyful Noise and minimizing the breadth the song had been heard. They are also working to counter the similarity arguments by noting differences in the works and that similar overlaps can be found between the two songs and much older works.

3: Gigi Hadid Beats Instagram Post Copyright Lawsuit

Finally today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that supermodel Gigi Hadid has gotten a lawsuit against her dismissed and has the Supreme Court to thank for it.

Hadid was sued by the photo agency Xclusive-Lee in January after she posted a photo of herself on to her Instagram. The photo was taken by a professional photographer and, according to the plaintiffs, Hadid had no authorization to post it. However, the case has now been tossed since Xclusive-Lee did not have a completed registration from the U.S. Copyright Office at the time it filed the lawsuit.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that plaintiffs needed to have a completed registration from the U.S. Copyright Office before they file a lawsuit. Before then, many courts allowed cases to move forward with just the registration having been applied for. It is unclear if Xclusive-Lee plans to refile the case with the completed registration.

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