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First off today, Gene Maddau at Variety reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that tossed a lawsuit by a child development expert against Pixar over the film Inside Out.
The lawsuit was filed by Denise Daniels in 2017. She alleged that she had pitched Pixar and Disney executives the idea for a TV show entitled The Moodsters and even produced a pilot episode. Her show, much like the Pixar film, featured different characters representing different emotions. However, the District Court tossed the verdict noting that you can’t hold a copyright in the idea of basic characters on emotions and that Daniels’ characters were not distinct enough to qualify for copyright protection individually.
The Ninth Circuit has now upheld that and relied on a test established in a 2015 case that found manufacturers of replica Batmobiles were infringing on the copyright of the copyrighted Batmobile character.
Next up today, Jeff John Roberts at Variety reports that, the Supreme Court has suspended oral arguments that were scheduled for March due to concerns over COVID-19, making it the first time in over a century that such a postponement has taken place.
Among the copyright-related cases that this postpones is the Google-Oracle case that sees Oracle suing the search giant over the use of its APIs. Specifically, Oracle accuses Google of copying its JAVA APIs when building its Android mobile operating system.
The court has not said when it is rescheduling such hearings too. One possibility is that it could push them to open slots in April, another is to push them back to the fall session.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, amid the Italian lockdown that aims to combat COVID-19, internet traffic is on the rise and, with that, so is an interest in pirate websites.
Last week, the country of Italy ordered a full lockdown of the entire country, meaning that millions of people are required to stay inside and only go outdoors when necessary. This has resulted in a broad uptick of internet traffic but it’s not just legitimate websites that are seeing the uptick as many pirate ones are as well.
One site reported that a 20% increase in traffic prompted them to install a new server, Cloudflare reported that it’s Italian network hub saw a 30% increase in traffic, much of it due to a rise in video streaming, both legal and illegal.