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First off today, Morgan Wright at Law Street reports that a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the Chicago Cubs will advance, at least in part, though the judge indicates that damages in the case may be very limited.
The case was filed by author Keith F. Bell who claimed that the Cubs committed copyright infringement when the teams then-Director of Mental Skills, Joshua Lifrak, retweeted a tweet a portion of his book Winning Isn’t Normal to his personal account. Bell had previously sued the original Twitter user, Moawad Group, which settled out of court in 2018. Bell also sued the Chicago Cubs and Lifrak directly, prompting the ongoing legal battle.
The judge in the case dismissed contributory and direct copyright infringement claims against the Cubs. However, the judge allowed a vicarious copyright infringement claim against the cubs and a direct copyright infringement claim against Lifrak to move forward. Bell claims that Lifrak’s personal account was used to promote his employer, thus the claims against the Cubs. However, the judge in the case indicated that they are skeptical that the plaintiffs will be able to prove willfulness given that the Moawad tweet didn’t attribute Bell or his work, this could significantly reduce any damages awarded.
Next up today, Rory O’Neill at World Intellectual Property Review reports that England’s Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC) has found in favor of Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, the publisher and developer of Grand Theft Auto V respectively, in their legal battle with the makers of the cheat software application Epilson.
Take-Two and Rockstar filed the lawsuit alleging that the five individuals behind the application created a copyright-infringing work that enabled users to modify their games and give them unfair advantages while playing. They sued for both copyright infringement and breach of contract, namely the terms of service players agree to when installing the game.
Three of the five defendants settled the case but the court has now issued a summary judgment on the issue of liability against the remaining two. Though the claim of breach of contract was dropped against one of the two as he was under 18, the copyright infringement claims stood. The amount of liability was not determined though the court is hopeful that, as with the other three defendants, a settlement can be reached in short order.
Finally today, Shannon Jenkins at The Mandarin reports that, in Australia, the New South Wales government has reached a settlement with the Copyright Agency, bringing an end to an almost eight-year dispute about how much the government should pay for using copyright-protected works.
The dispute started back in 2012 as the Copyright Agency and the government could not reach an agreement on how much the government should pay when using copyrighted works for internal purposes. This resulted in a lawsuit that went before the Copyright Tribunal of Australia as the two sides continued to try and reach an agreement.
The Copyright Agency represents a variety of creators including authors, photographers, surveyors and more. The new deal establishes the rates to be paid from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 203, meaning the two sides will likely need to start work on yet another deal very soon.