3 Count: Settling Down

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1: YouTube Resolves Composer’s Copyright Lawsuit One Day Before Trial

First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that YouTube has reached a settlement with composer Maria Schneider over allegations that the site was failing to do enough to stop piracy on its service.

Schneider filed the lawsuit in 2020 claiming that YouTube unfairly restricted access to its Content ID system. The lawsuit aimed to become a class action case but was denied that status. The case was scheduled to move forward this week with a trial solely on Schneider’s claims, but this settlement prevents that trial.

Neither side has offered any comment on the settlement, and no terms have been disclosed. Previously, YouTube had denied the allegations, saying that it goes “above and beyond” to protect third-party copyrights.

2: Marvel Winds Down Fight Over Avengers Characters

Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Marvel has reached a settlement with four separate artists (or their estates) as they sought to reclaim the rights to various Marvel-owned characters.

In 2021 Marvel filed lawsuits against Larry Lieber and the estates of Gene Colan, Steve Ditko, Don Heck and Don Rico. The artists involved have created a wide variety of characters, including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and more. The artists had previously filed for copyright termination, which allows original creators to reclaim the rights to older works after a set period of time.

Marvel, however, attempted to claim that the works were made for hire and that copyright termination didn’t apply. However, in all but one of the cases, Marvel has now reached a deal with the artists, with both sides seeking a voluntary dismissal of the case. That said, there is one exception as the estate of Patrick Ditko’s case is ongoing, wrangling over the first appearances of both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

3: DistroKid Sued in Dispute Over Allegedly Malicious Copyright Takedown

Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that music distribution service Distrokid has been sued by a former user, who claims that the service mishandled a DMCA takedown notice.

The lawsuit was filed by Damien ‘Frosty The Doeman’ Wilson, a musician who used the service to release, among other things, the track Scary Movie. That song was a collaboration with another artist, Raquella George, though the two had a falling out after the song’s released. That resulted in George filing copyright notices with Distrokid to get the song removed from streaming services.

However, Wilson claims that Distrokid mishandled the notice, preventing the filing of counternotice or the taking of any additional action. As such, Wilson has filed a lawsuit both against George, who is accused of misrepresentation, and Distrokid for its handling of the case.

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