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First off today, Benjamin Lee at The Guardian reports that Nicki Minaj has agreed to pay Tracy Chapman a total of $450,000 to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit.
The dispute centered on Minaj’s use of a sample of Chapman’s 1988 song Baby Can I Hold You in her recent track Sorry. Minaj never formally cleared the track and Sorry was never supposed to be released but it instead was played on the New York radio station Hot 97.
Minaj originally claimed to have no idea how the song was leaked or that the song sampled Chapman. Chapman filed a lawsuit and the case was heading toward a trial but this settlement averts it. Chapman released a statement saying that she is happy to have put the matter behind her. Minaj has not released a statement or made a comment.
Next up today, Mugdha Kapoor at DNA India reports that an “Instagram Copyright Infringement” scam has been targeting Indian users of the app and several of the nation’s celebrities have fallen for it.
The scam works via Instagram direct message. A user messages claiming to be from the “Help Center” and they claim to be associated with the “Instagram/Copyright Infringement Center”. The message goes on to warn that they have received a large number of copyright infringement claims and that, if they do not respond, their account will be deleted within 72 hours.
However, what follows is a classic phishing scam where users are directed to an “appeals form” that has the user enter their username and password. Once that is submitted, the scammers then take over the user account and begin posting questionable content and sending out messages to that users contacts. The scam has made headlines in India as several celebrities have fallen for it including actor Ameesh Patel and filmmaker Fara Khan.
Finally today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, has reached a $5 million settlement with a cheat creator Global++, bringing an end to their lawsuit.
Global++ released several cheats for Pokémon Go and other titles that, according to Niantic, violated their copyright as well as violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. They claim that the cheats accessed Niantic’s servers without permission and made up of 99% Niantic’s original code.
The case quickly expanded to include other defendants and, now, a settlement has been reached. That settlement will see the defendants pay some $5 million in damages as well as prevent them from ever developing or marking any such cheating programs in the future. They also admit to the violations of both copyright and other federal laws.