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First off today, Jessica Miller at the Salt Lake City Tribune reports that the Truth and Transparency Foundation, a non-profit that operates the MormonLeaks website, has settled a copyright infringement dispute with a publisher connected to the Mormon church.
The plaintiffs in the case, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, sued the foundation after it published a series of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ educational videos on a website it operated. The publisher claimed that this was a violation of their copyright but the foundation claimed that they had a constitutional right to leak the videos.
However, the foundation has now agreed to pay $15,000 to settle the case. The reason is that fundraising efforts to fight the case did not generate enough money to launch a defense and, though they contend the did not infringe any of the publisher’s rights, they felt that settlement was the only path forward.
Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the hosting provider Steadfast in a dispute over Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notices and their role in fighting piracy.
The case was brought by adult entertainment company ALS Scan, which claimed that they submitted a slew of DMCA notices to Steadfast about the image-hosting site Imagebam. According to them, Imagebam was regularly hosting content they owned and, even though Steadfast would forward the notice to Imagebam to remove the content, no additional action was taken against the site.
Steadfast won a key ruling in 2018 when a District Court judge dismissed all claims against them saying that they had followed the DMCA adequately. Steadfast appealed, seeking attorneys’ fees and ALS appealed also wanting the lower decision overturned. However, the Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, came down on the side of the host saying that the simple measures the host took were enough under the DMCA as it is written but punted on the issue of attorneys’ fees, sending that back to the lower court.
Finally today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the remaining members of the band Soundgarden have dropped their counterclaims against Vicky Cornell, the widow of deceased frontman Chris Cornell, over a charity concert.
According to Vicky, when Chris died in 2017, she took over his estate and, according to her, his copyrights. However, ever since then, the two have been wrangling over the rights to Soundgarden’s music, in particular to a series of unreleased sound recordings. This culminated in a lawsuit filed by Vicki in December 2019, which alleged that the band was trying to “strong-arm” her into giving them the recordings by withholding royalties.
In May 2020 the remaining members filed a countersuit alleging that Vicky deceived the band into performing a benefit concert by saying the money would go to charity but instead used the money for personal gain. Vicki, however, denied this and threatened the band with sanctions over the “frivolous” claims but the members insist that the claims are valid. Nonetheless, they’ve agreed to drop those claims though did not publicly disclose the reasons.