3 Count: Three 6 Lawsuit

A less-than-greatest-hits compilation...

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1: Memphis Rappers Sue Three 6 Mafia, Claiming Copyright Infringement

First off today, Luke Jones at WREG Memphis reports that two members of the rap group Three 6 Mafia have been sued by a collection of nine Memphis-based rappers over allegations that the duo has been stealing their music for nearly three decades.

The lawsuit was filed against Juicy J and DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia. The plaintiffs claim that they began working with the group back in 1993. However, they claim that they had no idea that they were on certain songs released by the band and that their work has been used without permission in the form of samples featured in Three 6 Mafia music.

The plaintiffs said they are only suing now because they are wanting the money that they feel they are owed. Three 6 Mafia has not commented on the lawsuit.

2: Sony Music Slams Cox Communications’ Challenge to $1B Piracy Verdict

Next up today, Claudia Rosenbaum at Billboard reports that Sony Music has hit back at Cox Communications after Cox filed a brief with the court suggesting that the $1 billion judgment against them was a “miscarriage of justice.”

Sony is one of the plaintiffs suing the ISP Cox over allegations that it did not do enough to discourage piracy on its network and, as such, is liable for that infringement. The case went before a jury in December 2019 and the jury not only sided with the record labels but hit Cox with a record-breaking $1 billion judgment on some 10,017 songs.

Cox responded to that noting that the judgment was higher than all recent copyright judgments combined and that were not the direct infringer, it was their customers who were the direct pirates. However, Sony has hit back saying that Cox’s actions were not the actions of a rogue employee and, instead, were part of the culture of the company as a whole. As such, combined with the billions that Sony alleges Cox earned in profits (partially from the piracy), it says the verdict is reasonable and should stand.

3: Charter Challenges Copyright Registrations of Music Recordings

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that, in a similar lawsuit to the one against Cox, the record labels are also targeting Charter Communications. However, in that case, Charter Communications is raising questions about the copyright registrations for some of the songs that the labels are alleging to have been infringed.

According to Charter, they examined some 110 of the nearly 7,000 sound recordings alleged to have been infringed and found that the record labels “falsely registered at least 40 works” as works for hire. They go on to say that a knowingly false statement on a copyright registration can result in it being invalidated.

However, the labels have responded noting that Charter can’t identify a single case where a court has invalidated a copyright registration because of an incorrect work for hire designation. Further, they add that work for hire is complicated and “cannot give rise to the kind of bad faith necessary to invalidate a registration as a fraud.”

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