3 Count: Pulp Non-Fiction

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1: Pearson Education Sues Chegg, Alleging ‘Massive’ Copyright Infringement

First off today, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that textbook publisher Pearson Education has filed a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against the study aid website Chegg alleging that Chegg illegally appropriates Pearson’s textbook questions.

The specific issue is Chegg Study, a subscription service that Chegg provides that provides questions and answers from the back of textbooks. According to the lawsuit, Chegg hires freelancers to prepare the answers and published them on the service. They claim that it’s a violation of the copyright not only of those textbooks, but of any answer keys that the companies does or will provide.

As such, Pearson has identified some 150 textbooks that they believe were infringed, noting that it is “just a fraction” of the 9,000 books Chegg claims to offer, many of which are by Pearson. As such, Pearson is seeking, damages, a permanent injunction and for the allegedly infringing content to be destroyed.

2: Movie Piracy: Customers of Major UK ISPs Receive Letters Demanding Cash

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that Voltage Holdings, a company best known for strongly litigating against piracy of films it holds the rights to, has begun sending out threatening letters to suspected UK pirates, seeking settlement fees for alleged illegal downloads.

The move comes after Voltage Holdings secured a court order against UK ISP Virigin Media demanding that they hand over contact information for suspected pirates. Now, just a few months later, at least some of those names are receiving letters demanding a settlement payment for the alleged illegal download.

It is unknown how many of the letters were sent or what the specific demands are. However, previous attempts to send such letters have not gone well in the UK, especially since it is difficult to prove that it was the subscriber, and not someone using their connection, that was the actual infringer.

3: The Case of the ‘Pulp Fiction’ Movie Poster: Who Deserves Credit for This Image?

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the iconic poster for the film Pulp Fiction has become the center for a copyright infringement lawsuit as a photographer is claiming to have taken the photo of Uma Thurman that adores it and that Miramax failed to properly clear the rights before using it broadly.

The case involves photographer Firooz Zahedi, who claims to have taken the photo in April 1994. Now, he’s claiming ownership of the image and saying that it’s been used widely without a proper license. He claims to have been paid $10,000 for the image, an amount that he says is well below his normal rate, and that the studio has gone on to use the work in a variety of media since.

Though Disney and Miramax are arguing that Zahedi waited too long to bring his claims, their effort is being harmed by the fact that the companies can’t locate key paperwork related to the image. However, the defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment, hoping to bring the case to a close.

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