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1: Court of A-peel: Nasty Split Over Banana Costume Leads to Legal Monkey Business

First off today, Karl Paul at The Guardian reports that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction against a costume maker over its allegedly infringing banana costume.

The case pits Rasta Impasta versus the company Kangaroo Manufacturing. According to Rasta, they manufacture a banana costume that was copied by Kangaroo. Kangaroo not only denied the copying but argued that costumes, generally, don’t enjoy copyright protection and that the elements alleged to be infringing are not protectable by copyright. However, the lower court handed Kangaroo an injunction barring the sale of their costume and prompting this appeal.

The Third Circuit has affirmed that injunction saying that Rasta has established a likelihood that it will prevail in the case. As part of its arguments, Rasta brought in photos of some 20 banana costumes that it said were similar but were non-infringing. That argument held sway with the judges, who seemed to agree that Kangaroo copied unique and protectable elements from Rasta’s version of the costume.

2: Jury: Katy Perry, Others Must Pay $2.78 Million Because ‘dark Horse’ Copied Song

Next up today, the Associated Press reports that jury has come back from the damages phase of the Dark Horse trial and has determined that Katy Perry as well as others involved in the song owe $2.78 million to musician Marcus Gray.

Gray filed the lawsuit alleging that Perry’s song Dark Horse was an infringement of his earlier Christian rap song Joyful Noise. After a lengthy trial, the jury ruled that Dark Horse was indeed an infringement of Joyful Noise and that moved the trial into the damages phase, where the exact amount owed would be determined.

To that end, Perry herself was hit with a $550,000 judgment with the bulk of the responsibility falling on Capitol Records. However, this isn’t likely the end of the case as an appeal is widely expected.

3: The Philadelphia Phillies Sue to Keep Their Mascot From Becoming a Free Agent

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Philadelphia Phillies are in a fight over their mascot as the company that claims to have created the character has filed paperwork to reclaim their copyright in their work.

The case deals with Harrison/Erickson, the company that the Phillies approached to design and build the mascot in the 70s. However, now 40 years later, the company has filed copyright termination paperwork, which aims to reclaim control of the character now that it is over 35 years old.

However, the Phillies have hit back with a lawsuit seeking declaratory judgment that H/E does not have the right to demand such termination. To that end, the company is presenting a series of legal theories including that various license renegotiations have restarted the clock, that the company falsely obtained a copyright registration and that Phillies themselves played a role in the creation of the character and own at least part of the copyright.

Image Credit: Phanatic image by Mobilus in Mobli on Flickr. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

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