3 Count: Tuesday the Fifth

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1: ‘Friday the 13th’ Writer Wins Appeal in Copyright Termination Case

First off today, Brian Welk at The Wrap reports that a judge has granted copyright termination for the film Friday the 13th, allowing both the writer, Victor Miller, from the film’s producer/director, Sean S. Cunningham.

Copyright termination is a process through which creators that licensed their works can reclaim their rights after a set period of time. The film’s writer, Victor Miller, filed such a notice with Cunningham and his production company, Manny Inc. back in 2016. However, Cunningham attempted to argue that the Miller was an employee for the company and that the film was a work made for hire.

However, the judge has ruled that Miller was an independent contractor and granted him the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise. However, Cunningham will still retain international rights to the franchise as well as the rights to the character Jason Voorhies, who did not appear as we know him until later films.

2: Emily Ratajkowski Instagram Copyright Suit Steps Toward Trial

Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a lawsuit filed against model Emily Ratajkowski over an Instagram post is heading toward a trial as a judge has denied dueling motions for summary judgment.

The case was filed by photographer Robert O’Neil after Ratajkowski posted a photo he took of her on her Instagram story without permission. Ratajkowski fired back, claiming that the photo didn’t qualify for copyright protection and that her use was a fair use. Both sides filed for motions of summary judgement, but the judge in the case denied them both.

The judge agreed with O’Neil that the photo qualified for copyright protection and that he was eligible to sue for statutory damages. However, the judge also ruled it was too early to weigh in on questions of fair use and related issues. That puts the case on track for a possible trial if the two sides are unable to settle.

3: Bad Bunny, Tainy, and More Sued for Copyright Infringement Over “Safaera”

Finally today, Matthew Ismael Ruiz at Pitchfork reports that a music rightsholder has filed a lawsuit against Bad Bunny along with several collaborators on the track Safaera claiming that the rapper failed to license several samples that he used.

The lawsuit was filed by AOM Music, Inc., who owns the rights to DJ Playero’s Playero 37 mixtape. According to the lawsuit, the Bad Bunny track Safaera featured samples from three songs off that album, prompting them to file the lawsuit for both direct and contributory copyright infringement.

The lawsuit is seeking $150,000 per work infringed, an injunction against further distribution of the work as well as an order to impound or destroy infringing works.

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