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First off today, Isabella Kwai at the New York Times reports that rapper Jay Z has filed a lawsuit against the Australian online retailer over a children’s book entitled A B to Jay-Z.
According to the lawsuit, the book used lyrics from his famous song 99 Problems, in particular using the line, “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain’t one.” Little Homie claims that the book is a celebration of hip-hop music but Jay-Z has filed a lawsuit for copyright and trademark infringement.
According to Jay-Z, his company has sent repeated cease and desist letters since 2017 over the book and also claims that the company has made “false and misleading representation” that Jay-Z had approved or was affiliated with the book. Little Homie has denied any wrongdoing and said that it intends to fight the case.
Next up today, Jeong Park at the Orange County Register reports that Marc Hedgpeth, a former volunteer instructor for San Juan Capistrano’s Large Animal Response Team, has filed a lawsuit against the city for copyright infringement, alleging that they have continued to use training material he created after he left the organization in 2018.
The Large Animal Response Team rescues horses and other large animals during emergencies, such as fires or floods. It’s a volunteer-based organization and, between 2008 and 2018, Hedgpeth was responsible for much of their training. However, according to Hedgpeth, he left because the city ignored his suggestions for improvement and he believes that the city has continued to use his training materials after he asked them to stop.
He says that he created those materials on his own time and at his own expense and, even after he withdrew permission, the city continued to use them. The city, however, denies this and says that materials used in the June 2018 class were “entirely new” and that there has been no such training since.
Finally today, Stuart Dredge at Music Ally reports that a new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) determined that, between 2017 and 2018, overall access to pirated content declined by 15% and that decline was led by music, which saw a 32% decline.
Though the report paints a complicated picture of piracy, it mirrored other reports that found the overall amount of piracy taking place is trending downward. This includes studies by the IFPI, a record industry organization, and the content protection firm MUSO.
Still, the EUIPO report does point to challenges ahead. TV, for example, made up 60% of all pirated content but only saw an 8% decline year over year. As the streaming market becomes increasingly fractured, this issue could become even larger.