3 Count: Skin Deep

Skin as an art form...

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1: Second Cir. Punts on ‘Tangible Medium’ Issue for Skin Copyright

First off today, Blake Brittain at Bloomberg Law reports that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has punted on the issue of whether skin is a “tangible medium” for the purpose of copyright in a dispute over alleged makeup infringement.

According to the lawsuit, Mourabit did the makeup for a photo shoot for photographer Steven Klein and, sometime later, the company Shiseido Inc. used one of the photos from that shoot to imply that another artist was responsible for the makeup. This prompted Mourabit to sue both Klein and Shiseido for a variety of claims. However, the state law claims were ruled to be preempted by the Copyright Act.

The Second Circuit agreed that the claims were preempted and rejected the idea that his claims won’t meet the requirements of copyright protection. Namely, Mourabit argued that his work wasn’t copyright protected because skin is not a “tangible medium of expression” under the law. The court did not address that but did note that Mourabit’s work was fixed in the photograph if nothing else, completely avoiding the issue.

2: Travis Scott Sued for Copyright Infringement Over ‘Highest In the Room’

Next up today, Claudia Rosenbaum at Billboard reports that three songwriters have filed a lawsuit against music producer Travis Scott as well as others involved with the hit song Highest in the Room alleging copyright infringement.

According to the lawsuit, Scott and others involved with the song pretended to be interested in some form of collaboration only to take the plaintiff’s contributions and use them “without consent or license”. Specifically, the lawsuit targeted the guitar melody that features prominently in the song, which they claim was from a song they created in 2019 entitled Carter.

The plaintiffs are asking the judge to declare that the defendants willfully infringed their work. They are also seeking damages and a share of royalties for the song.

3: La Liga wins anti-piracy case in Russia

Finally today, Steven Impey at SportsPro reports that the Spanish soccer league La Liga has won a court battle in Russia that it hopes will result in illegal streams of its matches being removed from several Russian pirate websites.

The lawsuit targeted the domains mou.su, hdtennis.ru and liveball.ru. According to the lawsuit, all three sites were illegally streaming La Liga matches during 2020. The Moscow court is now ordering those sites to remove those streams or face additional action.

The case is just the latest in a long line of international victories for La Liga, with previous rulings in their favor in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Denmark, Senegal and Indonesia.

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