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First off today, Gene Maddaus at Variety reports that a judge has ruled in favor of Nicki Minaj in a dispute with Tracy Chapman. However, despite the major victory, key elements of the lawsuit move forward.
Chapman sued Minaj in October 2018 over the alleged use of her 1988 song Baby Can I Hold You in the Minaj song Sorry. Minaj used a sample of the song in composing sorry but, before publication, approached Chapman for clearance. However, Chapman declined to do so and the song was pulled from the album. Sometime after that, Sorry was released to the public by DJ Flex, sparking the lawsuit and the dispute about how the song was leaked.
In his decision, he ruled that Minaj’s use of Baby Can I Hold You was fair use, at least pre-release. Saying that ruling it an infringement would place an excessive burden on the creative process, he agreed that working on the song was fair use. However, the dispute about whether Minaj was responsible or committed copyright infringement for the song being leaked by DJ Flex remains open as the judge did not issue a ruling, moving it closer to a trial.
Next up today, Jacob Rascon at Click2Houston reports that Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit and the photographer that filed is claiming that the team has denied him credentials because of it.
Watson recently signed a four-year extension with the team. As part of the celebration for that, Watson posted several photos of him on his Instagram account that were taken by freelance photographer Aaron Sprecher. Sprecher claims that he approached Watson about removing the image and Watson refused. As such, he filed a copyright infringement lawsuit.
However, Sprecher is now claiming that that the Texans have denied him credentials to future Texans games, putting his career in jeopardy. His lawyer says that they are “concerned that this may be an effort at retaliation” for the lawsuit.
Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that several Pirate Bay-related domains had their registrations lapse and one of them, Piratebay.org, sold for $50,000 at an auction.
The Pirate Bay has used a variety of domains in its bid to avoid seizure and closure. Currently residing at ThePirateBay.org, the site has owned or used dozens of domains from countries all over the world. However, some of the domains that the site did own have expired and they include PirateBay.org, which was sold at auction to an anonymous buyer for $50,000.
Other domains including ThePirateBay.com, ThePirateBay.net and PirateBay.net are also slated to come up for auction in the next few days. What the domains will be used for is unclear, but all of them likely have a large number of backlinks and traffic despite no longer pointing to the site.