3 Count: Love, Gilda

Another reminder about the importance of registration...

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1: Audible Fires Back at Book Publishers, Says Captions are Fair Use

First off today, Timothy B Lee at Ars Technica reports that Audible has fired back in the lawsuit against it and is saying that the lawsuit should be dismissed on the grounds that its planned captions feature is a fair use and not a copyright infringement.

Audible, an Amazon-owned company that sells audio books, recently announced a new captions feature that would show the text of the book as its being read. However, the major publishers sued Audible claiming that the feature overstepped the boundaries of their contract. This prompted Audible to put the feature on hold and to file this response to the lawsuit.

In it, Audible claims that the feature is not a substitute for a regular eBook or a print book and that it only displays 20 words or fewer at a time. As such, Audible argues that it has a strong fair use argument and that the case should be dismissed.

2: Apple Called ‘Modern Tape Pirate’ in Copyright Lawsuit

Next up today, Mikey Campbell at AppleInsider reports that Apple is being sued by Four Jays Music Company, a company that represents the assets of the late composer Harry Warren, over allegations that Apple is offering for sale and streaming at least 98 tracks without a proper license.

According to the lawsuit, Apple obtained the music through contracts with Orchard Enterprises and Cleopatra Records. However, it contends that the distributors have been operating illegally, not obtaining proper mechanical licenses for the music and that the music itself is “pirated”. As such, the lawsuit claims that it doesn’t qualify for the compulsory license, which they admit Apple may have sought to use.

Four Jays seeks an injunction against Apple and the two distributors as well as damages and legal fees. The court has already sent a notice regarding policies on alternative dispute resolution to all parties in the case.

3: CNN Beats Journalist’s Copyright Suit Over Gilda Radner Documentary

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a New York judge has tossed a lawsuit filed against CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures over their Gilda Radner documentary Love, Gilda.

The lawsuit was filed by journalist Hillary Johnson, who recorded an interview Radner in 1987. Those tapes were used as part of the documentary without Johnson’s permission. However, despite serious questions about whether she owned the tapes or they qualified for copyright protection, the lawsuit was tossed due to the lack of a copyright registration.

However, Johnson said she was unable to register the tapes because they were in the possession of Michael Radner, Gilda’s brother and she wanted the judge to order him to give her access to them to enable a registration. However, Johnson did not file a declaration of ownership and the case fell apart over the registration issue.

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