3 Count: Tetris Battle

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1: Apple’s ‘Tetris’ Movie Ripped Off Tech Writer’s Book, Lawsuit Says

First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters writes that Dan Ackerman, the editor-in-chief at Gizmodo, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Apple and the Tetris Company over alleged infringement of a book he wrote.

According to the lawsuit, Ackerman published The Tetris Effect in 2016. That book covers the history of the game Tetris, including its Soviet origin and the challenges of publishing it globally. He claims to have sent a pre-pubilcation copy of the book to the Tetris Company in hopes of starting a collaboration, but instead, threatened to sue him if he pursued any spinoffs based on it.

He then claims that the Tetris Company and Apple collaborated on the recent Tetris film, which debuted on Apple TV, using material from his book to do so. As such, he is seeking at least 6% of the film’s $80 million ($4.8 million) budget in damages. Neither Apple nor the Tetris Company have responded to the lawsuit.

2: Aritzia Seeks Dismissal in Lawsuit Over Window Displays

Next up today, The Fashion Law reports that the Canadian fashion chain Aritzia is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed against them over pink sculptures that they used to accent their store windows.

The lawsuit was filed by artist Richard X. Zawitz, who owns Tangle Creations, the plaintiff in the case. According to the lawsuit, he was notified by friends and family that Aritzia was using sculptures nearly identical to his work in their store windows, prompting him to file the lawsuit.

However, Aritzia has hit back, filing a motion to dismiss the case. According to the company, Tangle has failed to show the copying of any protectable expression or any substantial similarity between the works. They say that Tangle only enjoys a “thin” copyright protection in the works, as it is made up of a series of non-protectable elements. Thus, Aritzia is asking the judge to dismiss the case.

3: Is ‘Spider-Man: Lotus’ Breaking Sony and Marvel’s Copyright?

Finally today, Jamie Burton at Newsweek reports that a fan made Spider-Man film is due to be released tomorrow, raising questions about whether the work is infringing copyright and, if so, what Marvel and Disney are likely to do about it.

The film is entitled Spider-Man: Lotus and made its public debut in 2021 with the release of its widely-viewed trailer. Though the film has had a rocky path to release, it is now slated to come out tomorrow, August 10, 2023. It will be available for free online.

This has raised concerns that either Marvel or Disney may take action against the film. However, in such cases of fan work, many companies turn a blind eye, feeling that it is not worth suing fans over a film that is being released for free. Despite that, experts note that the film is technically infringing copyright, meaning that, should they decide to take action against the film, there wouldn’t be much defense.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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