3 Count: Maverick Lawsuit

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1: Paramount Pictures faces copyright lawsuit over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

First off today, Joe Hernandez at NPR reports that Paramount Pictures is facing a lawsuit over their new movie Top Gun: Maverick.

The lawsuit was filed by Shosh and Yuval Yonay, the widow and son of Ehud Yonay. They claim that they exercised their copyright termination rights to the 1986 magazine article written by Ehud Yonay upon which the original Top Gun movie was based. Further, they claim that Paramount did not reacquire the film rights before releasing the Top Gun sequel.

Copyright termination allows original creators or their heirs to reclaim rights to works they may have signed away years before. According to the Yonays, they completed that process and the rights reverted to them in January 2020 and work on Top Gun: Maverick didn’t finish until 2021. However, Paramount claims that the film was “sufficiently completed” by the time the rights reverted.

2: IPTV Pirate Must Pay £963K or 88 Month Prison Sentence Becomes 168 Months

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that, in the UK, Steven King has been sentenced to 88 months (seven years and four months). However, that amount will be extended by another 80 months (six years and eight months) if he doesn’t pay back £963,000 ($1.2 million) in a timely fashion.

King was convicted of being the leader of a variety of companies that traded in copyright infringing products. They offered unlicensed streaming boxes to bars, restaurants and home users and charged a subscription fee to access content that he had not licensed. During their decade of operation, they are estimated to have brought in £5 million ($6.2 million) in revenue.

However, the conspiracy came to an end after the anti-piracy group FACT brought forth a private prosecution King, along with two accomplices were sentenced to a combined 17 years in prison. However, King now faces an even longer sentence if he is unable or unwilling to pay back the aforementioned money within the next three months.

3: Thaler Pursues Copyright Challenge Over Denial of AI-Generated Work Registration

Finally today, Franklin Graves at IPWatchdog reports that Dr. Stephen Thaler has filed a lawsuit against the United States Copyright Office (USCO) hoping to overturn the USCO’s decision to not grant a copyright registration for an AI created piece of artwork.

Previously, Thaler submitted the work A Recent Entrance to Paradise to the USCO for a copyright registration. However, since the work was generated by an AI, the USCO denied the registration, citing the requirement for a human author. In February 2022, the USCO Review Board issued an open letter that further affirmed the organization’s intent to deny registration of AI-created works.

However, Thaler claims that such denials are improper and that there is a need for actual test cases in this area. According to Thaler, this is an issue of the USCO not keeping up with changing technology and creating significant issues down the road, especially since there is no way to tell whether a work is created by an AI or not.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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