3 Count: Stairway to the Supreme Court

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1: Supreme Court Asked to Review “Stairway to Heaven” Fight

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the estate of Randy Wolfe has filed an appeal in the Stairway to Heaven lawsuit and is asking the Supreme Court to take up the case.

The estate filed the lawsuit in 2014 alleging that the Led Zeppelin hit Stairway to Heaven was a copyright infringement of the song Taurus, which was written by Wolfe for his band Spirit. The case made it to a jury in 2016 but Wolfe lost there. He appealed on the grounds that the jury was not properly instructed, and he was not able to introduce the sound recordings due to the copyright registration being limited to the composition.

The Ninth Circuit upheld the jury verdict saying that Wolfe had lost his chance to raise many of these issues during trial and that the court agreed with the decisions regardless. Now Wolfe is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court in hopes of getting a second chance in the case. However, the Supreme Court, mathematically, is unlikely to take the case.

2: ‘Family Friendly’ Streaming Service VidAngel Appeals $62 Million Copyright Verdict

Next up today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost reports that “family friendly” streaming service VidAngel is appealing the $62.4 million judgment against them saying that the damages are too high and violate the company’s right to due process of law.

VidAngel famously launched a video streaming service where users could “purchase” a DVD for $20 and then stream it (using VidAngel’s content filters) and resell it for $1. The courts, however, did not look favorably upon the system and jury found that they were liable for $62.4 million in damages.

However, VidAngel argues that award should be vacated as it is more than 20 times the estimated $3 million they earned from the service. VidAngel is also saying the judge should have allowed the jury to make a decision as to whether the service was a fair use of the movies and whether the service was protected by the Family Movie Act, which enables the creation of content filters.

3: KissAnime and KissManga Taken Down Permanently as Japan Tightens Piracy Law, Internet Mourns ‘End of Childhood’

Finally today, Anuka Roy at Meaww reports that two pirate websites, KissAnime and KissManga have both shuttered, bring an end to two of the most popular pirate websites on the internet.

KissAnime, which dealt with anime movies and TV shows and KissManaga, which dealt with manga, were both popular with those seeking their respective content. However, the Japanese government recently approved new anti-piracy legislation that, in addition to expanding the types of content that are protected under the criminal code, also expanded it to cover “leech” websites.

Though much of the law doesn’t come into effect until January 1, the restriction on leech websites will take effect October 1. Though there hasn’t been an announcement, this is likely why the sites shut down.

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