3 Count: Top Gun 2.5

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1: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Copyright Suit Flies On As Paramount’s Motion To Dismiss Denied

First off today, Dominc Patten at Dedline reports that Paramount has failed in an early bid to get the lawsuit over Top Gun: Maverick dismissed as the judge ruled that such a dismissal at this point would be premature.

The lawsuit was filed by the estate of Ehud Yonay, an Israeli author who, in 1983, penned an article entitled Top Guns, about the now-famous pilot program. According to the plaintiffs, Paramount optioned the article for the first film but failed to option it for the sequel, despite the rights reverting back to the estate in January 2020.

Paramount attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that the claims had no merit. However, the court denied that motion, saying that it would be improper to dismiss the lawsuit at this early stage. Though this is a setback for Paramount, a motion to dismiss only looks at claims and evidence provided by the plaintiff, which the court ruled was enough to continue the case at this time.

2: Rojadirecta Operator is Personally Liable for Sports Piracy, Supreme Court Rules

Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that the Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that the operator of the Rojadirect piracy website is personally liable for the infringement, giving rightsholders a new target to collect damages from.

The case was filed by local rightsholders Mediapro back in 2016. They initially won a series of rulings that resulted in the closure of the site, but continued to press the legal case, seeking damages of €354 million ($448 million) for the piracy.

However, a lower court ruled that the site’s operator, Igor Seoane, was not personally liable. This meant Mediapro could not go after his personal assets. However, the Supreme Court has overturned that verdict, ruling that Seoane was the sole shareholder of the company and that it was essentially a sole proprietorship.

3: King Copyright Infringement Trial to Begin in Federal Court

Finally today, Nick Hytrek at the Sioux City Journal reports that former United States Representative Steve King is facing a trial over his use of a popular meme during a reelection campaign.

The lawsuit was filed by Laney Griner, the mother of Sam Griner, who appears in the “Success Kid” meme that is widely used online. As part of his reelection campaign, he used the meme on various social media platforms, prompting Laney to file the lawsuit.

King attempted to get the case dismissed, saying that it was politically motivated. However, the case has made it all the way to a trial, where Laney is seeking at least $75,000 in addition to punitive damages. The case began yesterday and is expected to last through Thursday.

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