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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Laney Griner, the mother of the child featured in the “Success Kid” meme (and the photographer of the image) has sent a cease and desist letter to Representative Steve King over his use of the meme in a fundraising advertisement.
Rep. King used the meme as part of a promotional post for the fundraising platform WindRed. However, Griner, who is politically opposed to Rep. King, sent him a strongly-worded cease and desist letter noting that many companies have paid to license the meme and that he was using it without authorization.
The letter accused Rep. King of violating both copyright and her son’s publicity rights. The letter demands that Rep. King pull down the meme, post an apology for using it, provide an accounting of funds earned using it and then refund all of that money. The letter states that, if he fails to comply, they will file a lawsuit against him.
Next up today, Colin Mann at Advanced Television reports that the European Commission has published a report that targets Saudi Arabia for “causing considerable harm to EU businesses” with its support of beoutQ and Arabsat.
The dispute began shortly after Saudi Arabia placed an embargo on its neighbor Qatar, which is the home of the satellite sports network beIN. Rather than going without beIN content, Saudi-backed Arabsat began beaming a pirated version, beoutQ to the region. Though beoutQ has not been transmitted over satellite since last August, the service continues to be available via set-top boxes and other online streaming platforms.
Because of this (and the fact beIN has the license to transmit much of the EU sports leagues, the European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to its list of “priority countries” for addressing copyright issues. There are only 13 such countries worldwide and the Commission promises to “focus its action” on those nations moving forward.
Finally today, Michael Zhang at PietaPixel reports that Lady Gaga’s new song Stupid Love was leaked onto the internet and she responded by tweeting out a call for her fans to stop pirating her work. The problem was that the photos with the tweet were pirated images.
The tweet simply read “Can y’all stop” and featured two images of a woman in a ski mask listening to music. However, the images featured the Shutterstock logo on them, meaning that they were not licensed.
Shutterstock responded saying that “We like artists to be paid for their work too.” and including links to the pages where the images could be licensed. Many of Lady Gaga’s fans attacked Shutterstock, accusing them of trying to exploit Lady Gaga in this story. As for the photographer of the image, Richard Nelson, he was seemingly happy with the use of the image and even tweeted a watermark-free version. That said, other photographers felt quite differently, saying that respect and payment for their work are still very important.