3 Count: State-Sponsored Piracy

Two kinds of piracy in one lawsuit...

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1: U.S. Supreme Court Maroons Filmmaker in Blackbeard Video Piracy Fight

First off today, Andrew Chang at Reuters reports that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state of North Carolina in its dispute with a filmmaker and, in the process, handed a major victory for all of the states when it comes to copyright infringement lawsuits.

The lawsuit was filed by filmmaker Frederick Allen, who took photographs and videos of the wreckage of Blackbeard’s ship, which lies off the North Carolina Coast. When the state of North Carolina used his content without permission, Frederick sued but the state claimed sovereign immunity, which is a law that protects states from lawsuits in federal court. Since copyright can only be sued over in federal court, this would, in theory, completely exempt states from copyright infringement lawsuits.

The court, however, unanimously found in favor of the state and, along the way, tossed a 1990 act that attempted to hold states accountable for acts of copyright infringement. The court, however, did indicate that a better-drafted law could solve this issue, but said that the current law was unconstitutional and that states, for the time being, can not be held liable for copyright infringement. This is even as the states themselves routinely enforce the copyright they hold in their own work.

2: A Coronavirus Song Featuring Cardi B Is Going Viral — and May Violate Copyright Law

Next up today, Samantha Hissong at Rolling Stone reports that a viral song created by IMarkkeyz is raising new copyright questions as it uses a sample from a Cardi B Instagram video.

The song, entitled Coronavirus, features audio from a Cardi B Instagram post where she proclaimed that “Shit is getting real” with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the song’s release, it almost instantly went viral and has even climbed the iTunes charts, in part thanks to help from Cardi B herself. Cardi B drew attention to the song by posting about it hitting 96 on iTunes saying she needs to “hit the DJ up and Atlantic so I can get my damn coins.”

According to iMarkkeyz, everybody involved is in talks, saying that they connected after the song’s release. However, the song raises significant legal issues about who owns what with regards to it as questions as to who owns what with regards to this track.

3: Sony Removes Mario From Dreams After Nintendo Issues Copyright Strike

Finally today, Dual Shockers reports that players enjoying the Media Molecules game Dreams might notice that one of the more popular user creations has disappeared as Nintendo has ordered the removal of Mario from the game.

Dreams is a video game that allows users to create their own mini-games, also called Dreams, and share them with the world. One creator made a version of Mario for others to use in their games but, since Mario is the exclusive property of Nintendo, Nintendo issued a takedown for the model.

As such, the creator can no longer view, edit or access the model and it isn’t available for use in any other Dreams. However, levels that previously used the model appear to still work at this time.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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