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First off today, Murray Stassen at Music Business Worldwide reports that Spotify is attempting to deny responsibility for potentially unlicensed Eminem tracks in its catalog and, instead is blaming Kobalt Music Group, an independent rights management firm that Spotify claims it obtained the licenses from.
In August, Spotify was sued by Eight Mile Style, the publisher that controls the compositions for many Eminem songs. They alleged infringement of some 243 songs, reaching a potential damages total of $36.45 million. Spotify denies that the claim has any merit but says that, should Eight Mile Style prevail, it is ultimately Kobalt that is responsible.
Kobalt, however, has said that the Spotify filing “Mischaracterizes the substance both of the services Kobalt provides to Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated in the United States, as well as the content of Spotify’s direct US licensing agreement with Kobalt.” They have denied the allegations and said they plan to “vigorously defend” themselves against them.
Next up today, Matt Miller at the Patriot-News reports that the Pennsylvania city of Harrisburg is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit after a former developer accuses the city of using a draft plan they created without first paying all of the money owed to them.
The lawsuit was filed by company OPA, which was helping the city draft a comprehensive plan for the future of the city that included nearly all aspects of city infrastructure. However, the city claims the company routinely missed deadlines though OPA said it was the city that held back the $200,000 project. The city stopped paying in 2016 but the company claims that the city still owes it some $109,755.
In addition to the back pay, OPA is also suing for copyright infringement. They allege that the city, after it stopped paying, continued to use the plan as it worked with another contractor. It claims that it still owns the draft plan and that the work being done is an infringement on it. The city, however, claims that it has paid $185,000 for the work despite the missed deadlines.
Finally today, Christian Flores at CBS Austin reports that the Wimberley Independent School District in Texas has revealed that it spent nearly $100,000 in legal costs in a fight over an unofficial rainbow version of the Wimberley High School logo.
The logo was created by parents of students at the school for the city’s first Pride parade, which was held in September 2019. However, the school objected to the usage and, shortly after the parade, the school district sent out letters to those that had posted the logo online citing both copyright and trademark concerns. However, in January the ACLU stepped in and filed a grievance against the school district.
The district ultimately did not agree to the ACLU’s demand of rescinding the letter but decided that no further action would be taken against those that posted it. All totaled, the fight cost the school district $99,428.74 in legal costs. Many area residents are saying that the money could have been much better spent.