3 Count: Supreme API Battle

The second time is a charm...

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1: Supreme Court to Hear Google and Oracle Copyright Case

First off today, Adam Liptak at the New York Times reports that the Supreme Court has said that it will take the Google v. Oracle case and will address the issue of copyrightability and APIs

The case itself deals with whether or not Google infringed Oracle-owned JAVA when producing its Android mobile operating system. According to Google, they didn’t copy any Oracle code when implementing JAVA into it but, instead, merely copied the APIs so that existing JAVA applications would be compatible. Oracle argued that such instruction sets were not protected by copyright and, if they were, the use would be a clear fair use.

However, the case has bounced around the courts for nearly a decade as various jury verdicts and appeals have seen the case seesaw back and forth. This is actually the second petition before the Supreme Court, the first was in 2015 and was denied. This time around, however, the court granted cert and is expected to hear the case in its 2019 term though a ruling is not expected until 2020.

2: Redbox Settles Disney Suit, Agrees Not to Sell Download Codes

Next up today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that Redbox has settled its ongoing lawsuit with Disney by agreeing not to resell digital download codes for Disney films.

The lawsuit stemmed from Redbox’s practice of buying DVD combo packs (packs that come with a physical disc and a digital version) and selling the download code on their site while rending the discs in their kiosks. Disney sued but Redbox argued that it had the right to do so under the right of first sale.

Redbox actually won an early round with a judge ruling that a warning placed on Disney DVDs did not constitute a binding contract and denying Disney an injunction. However, after Disney amended the warning the judge sided with them and granted an injunction in August 2018 and, a year later, denied Redbox’s motion to dismiss. The two sides have since reached a settlement where Redbox has agreed to cease offering digital download codes for sale though there is no indication of any other terms in the settlement.

3: Lawsuit Contends NBC Universal Used New Orleans-Created Character ‘Mr Bill’ Without Permission

Finally today, WDSU in New Orleans reports that Dreamsite Productions, the owner of the fictional character Mr. Bill, has filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal alleging that they used the character without permission.

According to the lawsuit the character made multiple appearances on the NBC-owned Golf Channel as well as online videos and social media. As such, Dreamsite said it has no option but to sue as much of its business comes from merchandising and licensing.

Dreamsite is suing for copyright infringement and is seeking unspecified damages.

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