3 Count: First Strike

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1: Activision Sues Music Critic Over TikTok Pizza Clip

First off today, Stephen Totilo at Axios reports that the video game maker Activision has filed a lawsuit against TikTok user Anthony Fantano, seeking a declaratory judgment that they did not infringe his copyright when using a clip of his audio for a video.

In 2021, Fantano released a 19-second clip of him yelling at a pizza that went viral on TikTok. Others remixed and reused the content, including Activision, which used it in a clip to promote the video game series Crash Bandicoot. However, according to Activision, Fantano called a threatened legal action against them if they didn’t pay a 6-figure sum for the use of the audio.

That prompted Activision to file the lawsuit first, seeking a declaration of non-infringement. According to them, they found the audio in a TikTok-provided library of clips intended for commercial use. They also note they removed the video immediately after the complaint.

2: Internet Provider Must Pay $47m Bond to Appeal Piracy Liability Judgment

Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that Grande Communications will have to put up a $47 million bond if they want to appeal a jury verdict against them.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of record labels who claimed that Grande did not do enough to stop piracy on its network, in particular not removing repeat infringers from their platform. Last year, a jury sided with the record labels, ordering the company to pay $47 million in damages.

However, Grande immediately sought to appeal the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the labels wanted the company to post the $47 million as a bond. Grande objected to this, claiming that, as a subsidiary of the Astound Group, the company had plenty of money to pay the damages without such a bond. However, the court ruled against Grande, noting that their lawyers repeatedly argued they were a separate company from Astound, and thus, their parent company’s finances aren’t part of the equation on the question of a bond.

3: Taylor Swift Lover Book Copyright Lawsuit Dropped

Finally today, Madison Bloom at Pitchfork reports that Taylor Swift has emerged victorious in her lawsuit against author Teresa La Dart over the artwork featured on the 2019 Taylor Swift album Lover.

La Dart had claimed that the album used elements from the cover and design of her 2010 poetry book also entitled Lover. In the complaint, she cited a series of design similarities, though lawyers for Swift responded saying that the claims were “entirely meritless”.

However, now the case is over as La Dart has dismissed her case. No reason was given for the dismissal, though it is worth noting that it was not due to a settlement and, instead, was a voluntary dismissal on the part of La Dart.

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