3 Count: Banana Battle

Ring Ring Ring Ring...

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1: Third Circuit Goes Bananas for Copyright Protection

First off today, Po Yi at Manatt reports that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a preliminary injunction over a banana costume, affirming both that the costume is eligible for copyright and that the duplicate costume was indeed an infringement.

The lawsuit was filed by Rasta Imposta, a costume company, against Kangaroo Manufacturing. The two companies had worked together to sell costumes but, after the deal fell apart, Kangaroo continued to sell banana costumes that Rasta felt were too close to its design. The lower court agreed with Rasta, granting an injunction against Kangaroo but prompting Kangaroo to appeal to the Third Circuit.

The Third Circuit, however, upheld that injunction. Kangaroo had attempted to argue that a banana costume could not be protected by copyright as it is a useful article but the court found that the design features of the costume could be separated from the useful article and, thus, could be protected. Kangaroo also tried to argue that the idea of a banana costume could only be expressed one way and that the costume was a stock idea. Both concepts that the court rejected noting that there is a great deal of variety in such costumes. The case now heads back to the lower court with the injunction intact.

2: Nintendo Gets UK ISPs to Block Switch Piracy Sites

Next up today, Kyle Orland at Ars Technica reports that Nintendo has secured a court order from the England and Wales High Court that will require ISPs in the UK to block access to five separate sites that Nintendo says enable piracy of games on its Switch console.

All of the sites involved sell the SX OS operating system. It’s a homebrew operating system for the Switch that allows users to play illegal copies of games as well as other content not licensed for the Switch.

Nintendo has said that it is pleased by the block and they were joined by the UK industry group Ukie, which also threw its support behind the ruling. Nintendo, for their part, have largely focused their anti-piracy efforts in the United States, making this the first major action that the the company has taken in the UK.

3: US Congress Asks Why YouTube Content ID is Not More Widely Available to Copyright Owners

Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that eight members of the US Congress have sent a letter to YouTube asking the video giant why their Content ID system is not available to more creators.

The letter applauded YouTube for taking steps to reduce piracy on its service but noted that YouTube greatly restricts who can participate in their Content ID system, which allows major rightsholders to automatically detect and take action against unlicensed copies of their work being uploaded to the site.

Though the question was the main point of the letter, the Congresspeople asked a variety of questions about Content ID, including if it’s being used on other Google products. The letter requests a roundtable to discuss issues surrounding Content ID noting that rightsholders that aren’t able to use the system are at a significant disadvantage to those that are.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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