3 Count: G.I. Bro

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1: Activision wins copyright infringement suit against Booker T. Huffman

First off today, Marie Dealessandri at Games Industry reports that Activision has emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed by WWE wrestler Booker T. Huffman.

Huffman filed the lawsuit alleging that the Call of Duty character David ‘Prophet’ Wilkes was an infringement of the G.I. Bro character that he portrayed in the early stages of his career. He filed the lawsuit in 2019, focusing heavily on a poster featuring the G.I. Bro character when compared to Activision’s artwork for Prophet.

However, a jury found that Activision did not infringe Huffman’s copyright. They agreed with Activision that no one can own the rights to “the idea of an angry man with a scowling look,” and that no elements that qualified for copyright protection were copied.

2: Danish Media Team Up to Forge Copyright Deals with Google and Facebook

Next up today, the AFP reports that, in Denmark, the major media outlets have announced that they are teaming up to collectively negotiate licenses for when their news content is used by services such as Google and Facebook.

The move follows a 2019 EU directive that gave media organizations so-called “neighboring rights” to their work. This included the ability to seek licenses for use of headlines, thumbnails, snippets and other content that was previously free to use.

In France, the first country to sign this directive into their national law, the country’s media has largely taken a piecemeal approach to licensing, with only a few organizations having reached any kind of deal. In Denmark, they don’t wish to allow tech giants to “divide and conquer” them, so they are teaming up to have the strongest bargaining position.

3: High Court Lets ‘Jersey Boys’ Producers’ Copyright Win Stand

Finally today, Kyle Jahner at Bloomberg Law reports that the Supreme Court has declined to take up a case over the Broadway musical Jersey Boys.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Donna Corbello, the wife of the ghostwriter that penned the autobiography for Four Seasons band member Tommy DeVito. She sued the producers of Jersey Boys alleging copyright infringement of that work. Though a jury found in Corbello’s favor, both district and appeals court judges ruled that the overlaps were merely historical facts, not protectable by copyright.

This prompted Corbello to appeal to the Supreme Court which, by declining to take up the case, is allowing the Appeals Court verdict to stand. This, most likely, brings an end to this case.

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