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1: Amazon Joins Scott Turow, John Grisham, Other Top Authors in Effort to Take Down ‘Pirate’ Book Site
First off today, Taylor Soper at GeekWire reports that Amazon publishing and Penguin Random House have teamed up with a slew of famous authors to target the Kiss Library, an ebook site that the group accuses of rampant piracy.
According to the lawsuit, Kiss Library (and related sites) sell unauthorized ebooks at discounted prices despite holding no license to distribute the works. Filed in a U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, the lawsuit lists two Ukrainian men as the owners of the site and one Australian national as the software developer for it.
Some of the authors included in the lawsuit include John Grisham, Scott Turow, R.L. Stine and Sylvia Day. The lawsuit is seeking a broad injunction not just against the site itself, but any payment processors and technology service providers that are helping it. They are also seeking unspecified damages.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that MGM has hit back in their lawsuit against Starz and is claiming that the plaintiffs waited too long to file their claim, saying that they are prepared to introduce other “fatal defects” in Starz’ argument at a later time.
Back in May, Starz sued MGM alleging that the film studio had ignored an agreement between the two that granted Starz the exclusive rights to many of their movies. According to Starz, despite that agreement, many supposedly-exclusive MGM films appeared on competing services with MGM’s blessing.
According to the original lawsuit, the practice had been going on since 2015 without Starz’ knowledge. MGM, however, says that the fact it’s been going on so long and was not kept secret (being openly viewed on competing streaming platforms) that Starz simply waited too long to bring the lawsuit since. According to MGM, some 339 out of the 340 titles at issue should be dismissed because of this issue.
Finally today, The Fashion Law reports that XXL Magazine has emerged victorious in yet another lawsuit over an embedded image. However, this victory dealt with a fair use argument, not an argument over embedding itself.
The lawsuit was filed by photographer Rebecca Fay Walsh against XXL Magazine and its parent company Townsquare Media. Filed in May 2019, the lawsuit alleged that she captured numerous photos of musician Cardi B and licensed them through Getty. One of those photos was uploaded to Cardi B’s Instagram and then embedded into XXL as part of their coverage of a new cosmetic line.
Walsh sued but the court found that the use of the image was transformative and fair use. As such, the court dismissed the case. This lawsuit follows several other lawsuits over embedded images that have raised serious questions about the legality of embedding content from sites like Instagram.