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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a federal judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit filed by writer Jeffrey Scott over Disney’s reboot of Muppet Babies.
Scott filed the lawsuit alleging that a proposed reboot of the TV series was an infringement of production bible that he created for the original in the 1980s. The case was expected to hinge on the exact rights one has in a production bible and whether his work on the show was done as a work for hire.
However, it ended up being a bankruptcy that brought the case to an abrupt end. In 2003, Scott filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and did not disclose the bible as being among his possessions. Scott asked for an opportunity to reopen the bankruptcy and correct this issue, but the judge declined to pause the copyright case. As such, he dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning it can be refiled if the matter is corrected at the bankruptcy court.
Next up today, Winston Szeto at the CBC reports that, in British Columbia, the city of Vernon has signed over the copyright over the region’s mythical creature, the Ogopogo, to the Syilx Nation following criticisms from indigenous communities about cultural appropriation.
The Ogopogo is a mythical creature that reportedly lives in Okanagan Lake. Though it’s a gibberish work, it was derived from the Syilx language. The previous copyright holder, A.G. Seabrook, gave Vernon the copyright to the character in 1956 and the city recently licensed it to another author for use in books in film.
This sparked an outcry from the indigenous communities, who said the name and story carry religious meaning to them. In a 4-3 vote, the city council agreed to transfer the rights they own to the Syilx Nation.
Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that, in a story that will surprise almost no one, piracy of the U.S. version of The Office “”skyrocketed” after January 1st when the show moved from Netflix to Peacock, which has a much smaller subscriber base.
According to data from the company Iknow, illegal downloads of the series spiked after it left Netflix rising from under 2,000 per day to over 4,000. That amount has dropped back down but remains slightly elevated compared to 2020 norms.
This increase was only seen in the U.S. with other countries seeing little to no change in the amount the show was pirated. India and Brazil, the second and third biggest countries for The Office piracy, saw no change in the number of downloads over that time period.