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First off today, Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post reports that eight Las Vegas residents have been indicted for criminal copyright infringement in their roles in operating illegal TV and film streaming sites.
According to the indictment, the eight people ran the site Jetflicks but one of them later separated to create a competing service named iStreamItAll. They are all being charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and two of the men are also being hit with money laundering charges.
The men are being charged in Virginia despite their residence in Las Vegas. The reason for this is that at least some of their customers were from the region. Jetflicks is currently offline though iStreamItAll, as of this writing, is currently online.
Next up today, Nick Reilly at NME reports that musician Ed Sheeran will not be receiving any further royalties from his hit Shape of You until after at least one of the cases accusing Sheeran of infringement have been resolved.
The lawsuit was filed in England by musician Sam Chokri, who claims that Shape of You is an infringement of his 2015 song Oh Why. Chokri has also accused Sheeran of lifting from several other artists including TLC and Shaggy.
The case itself has been put on pause until 2020 but it isn’t the only claim against him. He’s also accused of taking elements from Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On for his 2014 song Thinking Out Loud.
Finally today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Universal Music Group is asking the court to delay discovery in the lawsuit over the 2008 Universal Studios backlot fire until a motion to dismiss can be heard.
In 2008, a fire swept through portions of the Universal Studios backlot that, among other things, destroyed many of the master tapes for various artists. After learning about the fire due to a a recent report by The New York Times a group of musicians filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Universal not only failed to let them know about the fire, but that they are owed royalties over the insurance payouts.
Universal filed a motion to dismiss the case that is currently being weighed. In the meantime, they would like discovery to be halted. In related news, the band Hole has dropped out of the lawsuit after being assured that their master recordings were not impacted by the blaze.