3 Count: Guns N’ Lawsuits

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1: Guns N’ Roses Face Copyright Infringement Suit, Manager Accused of Sexual Harassment

First off today, Jon Blistein at Rolling Stone reports that photographer Katarina Benzova has filed a lawsuit against Fernando Lebeis, the managing firm of the band Guns N’ Roses, over alleged copyright infringement and sexual harassment.

Benzova’s lawsuit is actually a counterclaim, having been previously sued by Fernando Lebeis over allegations that she improperly registered photographs she had taken of the band while working as their concert photographer.

However, according to Benzova, she’s been the photographer since 2010 but was only under the contract for about 18 weeks. Since then, she claims she was not under any kind of agreement. However, the firm said that they have an executed oral agreement with Benzova, making it so that the images she is claiming are infringing actually belong to them. In addition to the copyright issues, Benzova alleges sexual harassment by members of Fernando Lebeis during her time with the band.

2: Photographer Wins Court Copyright Row with Local Radio Website

Next up today, Sussex News and Pictures reports that, in the UK, Eddie Mitchell, a photographer working for Sussex News and Pictures, has won a copyright infringement dispute with V2 Radio.

Mitchell accused V2 Radio of copyright infringement, alleging that the company illegally used an image that he took of a car accident. However, V2 attempted to argue that there was no evidence Mitchell had taken the photograph.

To prove ownership, Mitchell produced both metadata in the image as well as bylines on other websites. As a result, the court found in his favor, awarding £135 ($168) in damages and costs.

3: ISP Grande Claims Win After Film Producers Drop Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that a group of film producers have dropped their lawsuit against internet service provider Grande Communications, despite the record industry recently winning a $46.8 million judgment against the company.

According to the plaintiffs, Grande Communications failed to take adequate steps to address and reduce piracy on its service, leading to widespread copyright infringement. They said that Grande’s DMCA policay was incomplete and ineffective, an allegation the company denied.

Just last year, the major record labels won a $46.8 million judgment against the company with similar arguments. However, for reasons that are unclear, this one has been dropped, and it does not appear a settlement has been reached. Grande has said that this is a vindication of their DMCA process and their copyright enforcement efforts broadly.

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