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1: Jeff Dunham Sues Coronavirus Merch Maker For Millions; Will Donate Proceeds To COVID-19 Charities
First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline reports that comedian Jeff Dunham has filed a lawsuit against Ooshirts, Ince and its owner Raymond Lei alleging that the company is making masks, shirts and items based on Dunham’s characters and routine.
The lawsuit, which is filed in California, alleges both violations of copyrights and trademarks. According to the lawsuit, the company even went as far as to use Dunham’s likeness directly to help sell the merchandise. This is just the most recent lawsuit for the company, which previously was sued by HBO and Atari.
Dunhman has promised that, if he wins the lawsuit, any and all damages collected will go to COVID-19 relief charities. Speaking of those damages, Dunham is seeking $150,000 per registered copyright and at least $2 million per registered trademark.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the torrent site has reached a settlement with a group of film companies and has agreed to pay over $1 million in damages but the site itself remains online.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of movie companies that are behind films such as Hitman’s Bodyguard, Hunter Killer and Mechanic Resurrection. The site’s operator has agreed to a judgment amounting to some $1,050,000 in damages and has removed the relevant torrents from the site. However, the settlement apparently does not include the closure of the site itself as it is continuing to operate.
This mirrors a similar deal YTS struck in a previous lawsuit where they agreed to pay damages and block the relevant films from appearing on the site. The companies have also begun filing lawsuits directly against YTS users, indicating that the deal they negotiated likely included user information as well.
Finally today, Phil Muncaster at Infosecurity Magazine reports that the famous piracy website Popcorn Time has launched a new child-friendly mode that restricts access to adult-themed content, including advertising, films and TV shows.
Popcorn Time originally launched in 2014 and became known as the “Netflix for Piracy”. Defined by its easy to use interface, the site and software quickly drew legal action from rightsholders that have resulted in multiple closures and relaunches (both official and unofficial) sense.
However, the addition of a child-friendly mode is a new move for the site and brand and is likely an attempt to further its perceived legitimacy among users.