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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Dow Jones & Company has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court where it told the tale of when a California state agency infringed on thousands of articles from the Wall Street Journal but, due to sovereign immunity, only resulted in a relatively small settlement.
The brief was filed in a separate case that pits a filmmaker against the state of North Carolina over the use of clips and photos he took on state websites. North Carolina is arguing that sovereign immunity, which means states can not be sued in federal court, also means that they cannot be held liable for the infringement.
According to Dow Jones, back in 2017 the state agency that administer California’s pension fund reproduced approximately 9,000 Wall Street Journal articles via a newsletter and on an internal website that was available to the public. However, due to the issue of sovereign immunity Dow Jones was only able to secure a $3.4 million settlement where, without the issue, their lawyers believe the settlement would have been eight figures, not low seven. Dow Jones hopes the Supreme Court will side against sovereign immunity in copyright cases, allowing rightsholders to bring all of their rights to bear when states infringe.
Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music update reports that the major record labels have accused Cox Communications of stalling in their ongoing legal battle.
The labels and Cox are locked in a legal quarrel over whether Cox has been doing enough to deter piracy on its network. According to Cox, they are protected by safe harbors designed to protect ISPs but the labels claim that Cox failed to adequately implement required systems to disconnect repeated pirates. The two sides had been scheduled for a settlement conference last week but Cox pulled out at the last minute claiming that nothing had changed in either side’s positions and that there was no point to the conference.
According to the labels, this is part of a broader pattern with Cox and they are asking the court to look at the possibility of sanctions for their actions. Barring a settlement, the case looks likely to make it to court later this year.
Finally today, Ryan Craddock at NintendoLife reports that the YouTube channel GilvaSunner has been hit with hundreds of copyright claims by Nintendo. However, the claims have not been met with the usual backlash and actually has some hoping that Nintendo may be ramping up to release their music on streaming service.
GilvaSunner had over 862 million views prior to the notices being filed. The channel primarily featured uploads of official Nintendo soundtrack songs that were made available without the brand’s permission. Though most seem to agree that Nintendo was well within its rights to protect its music, the channel had been going since 2010, leading many to think that it had tacit approval from Nintendo since there were no legitimate alternatives.
The actions against GilvaSunner, as well as similar actions against other channels featuring Nintendo music have many hoping that the gaming company could be getting ready to make its music available on streaming services. However, Nintendo has made no such announcement, making this a matter of pure speculation.