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First off today, Winston Cho at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that three major ISPs, Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, have settled lawsuits filed by a group of filmmakers that claimed the companies were not doing enough to combat piracy on their networks.
The lawsuits were filed by Voltage Pictures and other smaller film studios. They alleged that ISPs were not doing enough to stop piracy, most notably refusing to terminate accounts of repeat infringers and not responding adequately to copyright infringement notices.
However, Voltage has now moved to dismiss those lawsuits, citing a settlement that has been reached. The terms of that settlement are not known, but, in a similar lawsuit, ISP Cox Communications as ordered to pay major studios $1 billion in jury verdict over similar allegations.
Next up today, Porter Anderson at Publishing Perspectives reports that a French court has ordered that local ISPs to block access to the pirate website Z-Library, claiming that the site is providing illegal access to some 80 million pirated items.
According to the lawsuit, Z-Library brands itself as a free library but, in truth, is little more than a pirate website unlawfully distributing digital books. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE), and involved some 12 publishing houses.
According to SNE, the order should result in the site becoming unavailable in the country. This includes its multiple locations and over 200 domains that the site owns and operates.
3: Maurizio Cattelan Hits Back in Banana Copyright Lawsuit, Claiming He’s Never Seen the Other Guy’s Art
Finally today, Anna Sansom at Artnet News reports that artist Maurizio Cattelan is denying that he copied his duct tape banana piece from artist Joe Morford, saying that he never saw or heard about Morford’s earlier work.
The response follows a lawsuit filed by Morford, which alleged that Cattelan violated the copyright in his Banana & Orange work, which is simply a banana and an orange duct taped to a wall. According to the lawsuit, Cattelan created a similar work, entitled Comedian, which went viral online.
Cattelan has now filed a response to the lawsuit and is asserting some 19 separate affirmative defenses, including denying that he ever saw the plaintiff’s work before creating his own. Other challenges include targeting the copyright registration itself and labeling Morford’s work as a useful article that doesn’t qualify for copyright protection.