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First off today, Pamela Chelin at Variety reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a significant victory so singer Toni Basil, granting her sole copyright in her 1981 debut album, which included the hit song Mickey.
The case dates back to 2013 when Basil filed a notice of copyright termination on the album and her song. However, a UK company named Stillwater Ltd. claimed that they held 50% ownership in the work, given to them by a producer named Greg Mathieson who worked on the album.
However, in 2019, a judge ruled in favor of Basil, saying that there was inadequate evidence to prove the song was a joint work. Stillwater appealed and now Basil has emerged victorious there with the Appeals Court affirming the lower court decision.
Next up today, The Wire reports that the Delhi High Court is seeking an outside expert to assist in determining whether event firms in the country should be required to obtain a license to play music at weddings and other gatherings.
The case was filed by the copyright collective Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) against Lookpart Exhibitions and Event Private Ltd. PPL said that the defendants provide a variety of services for weddings, including a DJ, but never obtained rights to perform the music they did.
The case is expected to be heard on June 6, but before then the court has tapped an expert from the Center for Innovation, IP and Competition at National law University to weigh in on the extent fair use makes such playing infringing or non-infringing. The court said they did this because the case could have widespread impacts that go well beyond the specific companies involved in this dispute.
Finally today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that artist Kevin Atkinson has had his case against Netflix dismissed after he failed to convince a judge that Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way had access to his works.
Atkinson sued Netflix and Dark Horse Comics, alleging that Umbrella Academy copies characters and elements from a 1996 comic book he created for Rogue Satellite Comics. He had actually had the lawsuit dismissed once before in November after he failed to show that that anyone involved in either the comic of television series had access to his work.
Atkinson has since refiled the lawsuit with new allegations about how Way, or any others involved in the creation of Umbrella Academy, could have accessed his works. However, the judge has now dismissed those, saying that they are still too speculative. The judge did leave the door open for Atkinson to try yet again.