3 Count: Dark Horse Dismissal

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1: Katy Perry Wins in Dark Horse Copyright Appeal

First off today, Mark Savage at the BBC reports that Katy Perry has emerged victorious once again in the lawsuit over her 2013 song Dark Horse.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by musician Marcus, Gray, who claimed Dark Horse was an infringement of his earlier song, Joyful Noise. Originally, a jury sided with Gray and awarded him $2.8 million in damages. However, the judge in the lawsuit overturned that, saying that the lawsuit was dealing with the basic building blocks of music and not any original content.

That dismissal has now been upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 3-0 that the judge was correct to dismiss the verdict. The outcome likely brings the eight-year case to an end, barring an appeal and a hearing before the Supreme Court.

2: Google Fends Off Genius Appeal in Lawsuit Over Song Lyrics

Next up today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that, in another key appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court decision that said Genius’ lawsuit against Google should have been brought under U.S. copyright law.

Genius filed the lawsuit in 2019 alleging that Google was unlawfully copying lyrics to songs that they had hosted. According to Genius, they had used watermarking techniques to prove that Google had copied from their database of lyrics.

However, Genius, not the copyright holder on the lyrics, opted to sue claiming breach of contract and unfair competition laws. When the case got moved to a federal court, the judge dismissed the case, saying that copyright law preempted those claims.

That dismissal has been upheld by the appeals court, likely bringing an end to this case as well. Neither side commented on the decision.

3: VPN Provider Bans BitTorrent After Getting Sued by Film Studios

Finally today, Ax Sharma at Bleeping Computer reports that the virtual private network (VPN) provider TorGuard has agreed to block BitTorrent file transfers on its network as part of a settlement with a slew of independent film companies.

The film studios sued TorGuard, or rather, their parent company, alleging that the logless VPN was enabling piracy on its network by protecting the identities of users. This move comes after similar lawsuits filed against other VPN providers.

TorGuard has agreed in a settlement to block BitTorrent traffic on its servers in the United States using “commercially reasonable efforts” to do so. TorGuard, for its part, blamed its provider, QuadraNet, for ignoring piracy notices sent to it and not forwarding them to their DMCA agent.

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