3 Count: Billions Dismissal

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1: Copyright Case Over ‘Billions’ Gets 2nd Circuit Flush

First off today, Josh Russell at Courthouse News Service reports that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court dismissal of a lawsuit against Showtime over the show Billions.

The lawsuit was filed by Denise Shull, who alleged that the character Wendy Rhoades was based on her and her work. However, a lower court dismissed the case, claiming that the similarities were not distinct enough to qualify for copyright protection, that the works did not strongly resemble each other and that there were many consultants that do similar work to Shull.

Shull appealed, alleging that the judge overly-relied on a “quick Google search” to inform their decision. However, the three-judge panel has rejected that argument and affirmed the lower court decision, allowing it to stand. According to the Appeals Court, Shull was attempting to lay claim to uncopyrightable elements and that there were no protectable overlaps between the two works.

2: Canadian’s Copyright Lawsuit Against Disney, Pixar Over ‘Inside Out’ Gets Green Light

Next up today, Joseph Brean at the National Post reports that an Ontario court has given the go ahead for a lawsuit filed by Damon Pourshian, a former student at Sheridan College, against Disney, Pixar and other subsidiaries over alleged infringement in the 2015 film Inside Out.

According to Pourshian, over twenty years ago he produced a student film also entitled Inside Out that featured a child name Lewis whose behavior was controlled by five organs. Pourshian claims that is too similar to the 2015 Pixar film also entitled Inside Out, which features a girl named Riley who is controlled by five emotions.

Initially, the lawsuit hit a roadblock due to jurisdiction, with an Ontario court ruling that it was not the appropriate venue for the case. However, it has now overturned that decisions, allowing the lawsuit to move forward. No trial has been scheduled, but the defendants have been ordered to pay Pourshian $25,000 in legal costs due to the successful appeal.

3: Commission Starts Legal Action Against 23 EU Countries Over Copyright Rules

Finally today, Foo Yun Chee at Reuters reports that the European Commission has taken legal action against 23 EU countries, including France, Spain and Italy, over their slowness to enact new copyright regulations.

The new regulations, which include a filtering requirement for certain online service providers and a requirement for search engines to license snippets, headlines and thumbnails from news content, were passed by the EU Parliament over two years ago. Nations then had two years to implement the language into their national law though many nations have not done so. The deadline for implementation was June 7.

The countries involved now have two months to respond to the Commission or receive a warning. After that, they may be referred to the EU’s highest court.

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