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First off today, Kayla Googin at Courthouse News Services reports that guitar designer Buddy Webster has lost his lawsuit against Dean Guitars even though the court recognized him as the creator of the iconic Dean from Hell guitar design.
The guitar in question became famous as it was used by the late Pantera frontman Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott. According to the lawsuit, Dean Guitars violated Webster’s copyright by reproducing and selling the design beginning in 2004, shortly before Abbott’s death. This prompted Webster to file the lawsuit in 2017, seeking damages and an injunction.
Unfortunately for Abbott, the lower court ruled that he had wad waited too long to file his lawsuit and that his window for suing closed in 2007, three years after he learned of the infringement. The Appeals Court agreed with that and upheld the decision. Abbott, despite losing, expressed satisfaction that the court recognized him as the creator of the guitar.
Next up today, David Crowe at the Sydney Morning Herald reports that former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that, as part of his escalating copyright fight against the government of the current Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he and his publisher Hardie Grant will refer a recent case of government-backed book piracy to the Australian Federal Police.
The case deals with Turnbull’s memoirs, which were officially released today. However, dozens of members of Morrison’s government received early copies of the book. According to one source, the book came from Morrison advisor Nico Louw, who sent it to some 59 people in the government. Louw has reportedly apologized for sending the books out.
However, that has not stopped Turnbull from lashing out at the alleged piracy, saying that he and his publisher are sending the case to the Australian Federal Police in hopes of launching a criminal investigation. They have already sent a cease and desist letter to Louw demanding that he stop sending copies of the book out.
Finally today, Nola Strong at AllHipHop reports that Jay-Z and producer Timbaland have won a lawsuit against an 81-year-old musician that claimed the pair used his song Help Me Put Out the Flames in My Heart in at least two of their tracks.
According to the lawsuit, filed by musician Ernie Hines, a sample from his track appeared in two songs, Toe 2 Toe by Ginuwine and Paper Chase by Jay Z. Hines claimed that, while he was acknowledged as a writer in the credits he was never paid for the samples used.
However, the case was tossed because Hines failed to timely give service to Jay-Z of an amended lawsuit during a required 90-day period. The judge also tossed the case against on copyright grounds, calling the similarities overly broad. The judge did grant Hines leave to file an amended lawsuit, but he would first have to pay the defendant’s legal costs for defending against the original complaint.