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First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in their case against jazz artist Paul Batiste.
Batiste sued the pair in 2017 alleging that two of their songs, Thrift Shop and Neon Cathedral, stole elements from his songs Hip Jazz and World of Blues respectively. However, the lawsuit was quickly dismissed after the court found Batiste had failed to prove that the duo had access to his earlier songs or that the songs were strikingly similar. The judge then ruled that Batiste should pay at least some of the defendant’s expenses due to “egregious misconduct”, which included a falsified musicology report.
The appeals court upheld the lower court decision though it did say it lacked jurisdiction to review the fee award. Still, the ruling means that the lower court decision will stand.
Next up today, Annlee Ellingson at LA Biz reports that Commercial Real Estate Exchange Inc. (CREXi) is being sued by the commercial real estate information company CoStar Group Inc. over the alleged infringement of thousands of images in CoStar’s database.
CREXi is an online database of commercial real estate available for purchase or lease. According to the lawsuit, CREXi accessed the CoStar database more than a million times and took more than 10,000 images from its database for use in their own product. The lawsuit further alleges that CREXi employees accessed the database using fake accounts and accounts from their previous employers.
The case closely mirrors a similar battle between CoStar and competitor Xceligent, which was CoStar win a $500 million judgment against Xceligent in December last year. Due to Xceligent’s bankruptcy, the two sides ultimately settled for less than $11 million.
Finally today, Kayla Goggin at Courthouse News Service reports that a former copyright defendant is now being sued by her pro bono attorneys after they objected to the amount that she settled for.
The original case dealt with Irina Chevaldina, who was sued by her former landlord Raanan Katz after Chevaldina used an unflattering photo of him as part of a critical blog post. The case is complicated and involves battles in both federal and state courts. However, Chevaldina ultimately emerged victorious but only secured some $10,000 in attorneys’ fees for the Center for Individual Rights, which represented her on the federal side of the case.
They argued that the amount was wholly unreasonable and a district court agreed, awarding them some $114,855 in fees. However, before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chevaldina is arguing that the decision was too hasty. She says the original agreement between her and the center should be tossed out as it was presented as a pro bono agreement but actually required payment upon successful resolution. Further, they claim that they weren’t given an opportunity to show that negotiations were taking place between her, Katz’ attorneys and her other attorneys. It is unclear when the 11th Circuit will give its decision.