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First off today, Sara Morgan at World Intellectual Property Review reports that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Take-Two Interactive failed to get a lawsuit filed against them by a tattoo artist dismissed.
The lawsuit was filed by Catherine Alexander, who did much of the tattooing on WWE performer Randy Orton. According to her, she approached WWE back in 2009 claiming to still own the rights in her artwork, WWE offered her a small amount for a broad license and she declined. Instead, she filed the lawsuit back in April 2018 after her work appeared in a WWE video game made by Take Two.
WWE had attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. Though the court did agree to dismiss the claim involving one of the tattoos as the U.S. Copyright Office had denied her a registration on the grounds it lacked the necessary authorship, the court is allowing the other five claims to move forward. WWE also attempted to claim that they had no connection with the Illinois district where the lawsuit was filed but Alexander pointed out that they had held events in the area, indicating they had targeted business there.
Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Cox Communications has submitted another filing in its attempt to overturn, or at least blunt, a $1 billion jury verdict that was filed against them.
The lawsuit pits Cox against the major record labels. The labels allege that Cox did not do enough to deter piracy on its network, including not disconnecting repeat infringers. The case made it to a jury trial, which saw the jury side with the record labels and issue a $1 billion judgment, which amounted to $17,895 per work allegedly infringed.
Cox filed motions asking the judge to either reduce or set aside that verdict and now the record labels responded defending it. Cox is now replying to that response claiming that the labels, in their arguments, did not dispute the historic nature of the judgment amount. Further, Cox claims that the labels deliberately ignored a similar lawsuit filed by BMG against Cox, which saw the jury issue a much smaller award both in total and per work infringed.
Finally today, Kyle Orland at Ars Technica reports that Bethesda appears to have made a large goof when it comes to distributing the new, highly-anticipated game Doom Eternal. Though the game is supposed to be protected with Denuvo DRM, the Bethesda launcher actually includes an unprotected executable file that lets users play the game without any DRM at all.
The goal of the DRM scheme is not so much to make the game impossible to pirate as it is to delay the availability of pirated copies during the initial days and weeks of the game’s launch. However, by distributing the DRM-free executable version, Bethesda has made the game exceptionally easy to pirate.
This is actually the second time Bethesda made this mistake as it made the same gaff last year with the launch of Rage 2. This prompted Bethesda to remove Denuvo from all copies of the game moving forward.