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First off today, Reuters reports that seven of the largest publishers in the United States have filed a lawsuit against Amazon-owned Audible claiming that a new proposed feature that would provide captioning for audio books.
According to the publishers, this is a violation of their current contract with Audible. They claim that Audible only has the right to sell audiobooks and that this would mean also distributing the text of the book as well.
The publishers have asked for the case to be expedited as a means of blocking the feature. The lawsuit itself was filed in the Southern district of New York. Audible has not commented on the case.
Next up today, Campbell Kwan at ZDNet reports that, in Australia, local TV provider Foxtel has taken steps that may enable it to block suspected pirate websites without first having to visit court.
Under the law in the country, rightsholders can petition courts to order local ISPs to block access to pirate websites but, as time has gone on, those ISPs have become more cooperative, even recently agreeing to greatly shorten the time it takes to block sites.
However, Foxtel is now hoping to take things one step further by requesting a flexible injunction that would not only allow the blocking of the original domain, but the blocking any additional “proxy” domains that popup up. If this is approved, it means rightsholders in the country would only have to go to court to request the initial block but any sites that exist solely to circumvent the original block would not require a new court order.
Finally today, Ashley Cullins at They Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Italian composer Ennio Morricone has won a key appeal victory in his bid to reclaim the rights to the compositions he wrote for six Italian films.
Back in 2016 Morricone sued seeking copyright termination. Copyright termination allows original creators to reclaim the rights of their works after a period of 35 years, even if they granted exclusive licenses to a third party. However, a lower court found that Morricone’s work on the films was a work-for-hire, meaning that his work didn’t qualify for copyright termination.
However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with that decision finding that Morricone’s work didn’t qualify as a work-for-hire under either US or Italian law. As such, Morricone will be able to reclaim the rights involved and that precedent may have a strong impact in similar cases, especially involving musicians and composers that work on films.