3 Count: Ad Astra

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1: Disney’s 20th Century Studios Fends Off ‘Ad Astra’ Copyright Lawsuit

First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that Disney and their subsidiary 20th Century Studios have won a key ruling in a lawsuit filed against them over their 2019 science fiction film Ad Astra.

The lawsuit was filed by producer and writer Madison Jones, who accused Disney of copying an earlier screenplay of his entitled Cosmic Force. To make his case, he highlighted similarities between the works, including that both are about a futuristic soldier who seeks to learn more about his missing father, kicking off a story about aliens and other science fiction tropes.

However, the judge in the case disagreed with Jones, saying that he could not provide evidence that Disney had access to his script. He also noted that there are many differences between the works and that the similarities alleged are not protectable under copyright. As such, the judge dismissed the case, though Jones said he intends to appeal.

2: Beijing Internet Court Recognizes Copyright in AI-Generated Images

Next up today, Aaron Wininger at The National Law Review reports that the Beijing Internet Court has issued a decision that recognizes AI-generated works as being eligible for copyright protection.

The plaintiff in the case, Mr. Li, used Stable Diffusion to generate an image that he published on a local platform. However, when another blogger used the image without his permission, he filed a lawsuit saying that the use was a copyright infringement. However, the defendant quickly claimed that, since it is an AI-generated work, it doesn’t qualify for copyright protection.

The court, however, disagreed. The court said that Li had used creativity both in choosing the prompt and in selecting the image to use. As such, counter to what similar cases in the United States have found, that the AI-generated work qualified for copyright protection and awarded Li damages in the case.

3: Operation 404: USDOJ, PIPCU, ACE, MPA, IFPI, ESA, EPL & More Target Pirate Sites

Finally today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that a collection of international law enforcement and anti-piracy agencies have announced the results of the sixth wave of “Operation 404”, which aims to remove sites engaging in piracy, counterfeiting and other intellectual property violations.

The group, claims to have shut down some 606 websites and applications, including 40 in the UK. The services were either seized or blocked and, though arrests were made, details on criminal prosecutions are not available.

New phases of project 404 have been announced every few months, with the last being in March 2023, which netted roughly 400 closures and 11 arrests. Historically, the campaign has focused mostly on the country of Brazil, though recent waves have included a broader collection of sites and apps.

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