3 Count: Nonexclusive License

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1: Copyright Lawsuit Over Artist Who Used Ruth Bader Ginsburg Photo Dismissed

First off today, Adam Schrader at UPI reports that a federal judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against artist Julie Torres over a photo of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that Torres used in her art.

The lawsuit was filed by Creative Photographers, who serves as the photo agency for photographer Ruvén Afanador. Afanador took the photo of Ginsburg in 2009, but was not a party in the lawsuit.

That, in turn, was the problem. The judge in the case did not look into issues of fair use but, instead, ruled that Creative Photographers did not have standing in the case. The reason is that the license between Afanador and the agency is as nonexclusive one, meaning it has no standing in court. As such, the judge has dismissed the case, pending a possible appeal by the agency.

2: Filmmakers Want Owner of Defunct VPN Arrested in Piracy Case

Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that a group of independent film companies is seeking the arrest of the former operator of a VPN service, saying that the individual has openly defied every court order that has been handed down.

The case is against Charles Muszynski and other entities owned by him. According to the lawsuit, Muszynski was the owner and operator of LiquidVPN, a now-defunct VPN service that promoted itself for the use of pirating content.

However, Muszynski nor any of his companies have shown up in court, prompting a default judgment against them. Collecting on that default judgment has proved vexing, with Muszynski and his companies ignoring multiple court orders. As such, the studios are hoping that the court will issue an arrest warrant Muszynski to force him to comply with the various orders that have been handed down.

3: Nickelback Defeats Song-Theft Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Rockstar’: ‘They Do Not Sound Alike’

Finally today, Bill Donahue with Billboard reports that the band Nickelback has emerged victorious in a lawsuit over their 2006 song Rockstar with a judge saying that the songs at issue, “do not sound alike.”

The lawsuit was filed by Kirk Johnson, who alleged that Nickeback’s Rockstar was based on his band’s earlier track Rock Star. However, lawyers for Nickelback quickly responded to the case, calling it “absurd” and saying that none of the alleged similarities are protectable under copyright.

Though it took three years, the judge eventually agreed and has dismissed the case. In addition to noting how weak the alleged similarities were, the judge also called out the fact that Pitman had failed to prove Nickelback had access to his song, poking another hole in the case.

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