3 Count: Sinking City

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1: ‘The Sinking City’ Dev Alleges Publisher Hacked and Illegally Uploaded Game to Steam

First off today, Patrick Klepek at Vice reports that the video game developer Frogwares is claiming that a version of their latest game, The Sinking City, was uploaded to the Steam game platform without their permission and is actually the result of an ongoing lawsuit between them and the alleged publisher.

According to Frogwares, the French publisher Nacon downloaded a copy of the game from another platform and then hacked the game to remove various logos so they could add their own. They then uploaded the game to Steam for digital distribution there.

The two companies are in active litigation over alleged contract breaches and that has resulted in the game being removed from several platforms, including Steam. Frogwares has since republished the game themselves on the PlayStation 5 and on their own site. Frogwares, in a blog post and video, claimed that Nacon took one of the other copies of the game, decompiled it, made changes to the code and then offered it for sale on Steam.

2: Taylor Swift Files Her Own Lawsuit in Escalating Theme Park Battle

Next up today, Claudia Rosenbaum at Billboard reports that Taylor Swift is hitting back at the Evermore theme park by filing a new lawsuit that claims the park was playing her music without the proper licenses.

The battle began when the Evermore Theme Park in Utah sued Taylor Swift over the title of her latest album, Evermore. The park accused her of trademark infringement with the title. However, Swift has now filed a lawsuit of her own claiming that, before the original lawsuit was filed, the park made regular use of her music without licensing it.

According to the new lawsuit, for at least a year before the original lawsuit was filed, Evermore park was using Swift’s music without a license. As proof of this they say that BMI, a performing rights agency, informed the park they were in violation in 2019. According to Swift, the park repeatedly ignored such contacts and offers for a license and continued to play both her music and that of other BMI-licensed songwriters.

3: US Court: Pirate Streaming Sites Operator Must Pay $16.8m in Damages

Finally today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that a court in Texas has handed down a default judgment against the operators of some 15 suspected pirate domains that orders them to pay $16.8 million in damages as well as calling for the seizure of their domains and injunctions barring companies from providing them internet services.

The lawsuit was filed in November 2019 by DISH, which accused the sites of unlawfully streaming content that they own. According to court documents, Dish filed the lawsuit and then attempted to contact the alleged infringers dozens of times without success.

Since the defendants never responded, the judge in the case has issued a default judgment and found the sites liable for both direct and contributory copyright infringement. The judge also awarded the maximum amount of statutory damages possible, $150,000 per work, and has provided a broad injunction ordering the seizure of domains and for all relevant parties to stop serving the sites.

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