3 Count: Beauty and the Jury

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1: Jurors Deliberate in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Copyright Case

First off today, Natalie Hanson at Courthouse News Service reports that the lawsuit between Disney and special effects company Rearden MOVA has gone before the jury, with deliberations starting yesterday.

Rearden specializes in motion capture software, most notably their MOVA system, which translates actor movements onto animated characters. Rearden claims that a former employee of theirs launched the competitor DD3, which relied on stolen code and technology from Rearden. Rearden then claims that Disney used DD3’s tools, knowing that they were copyright infringement, to save money on productions, in their 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast.

Rearden argued that Disney knew about the infringement or was willfully blind to it. Disney, however, argued that they had no way of knowing that the software was infringing and the film’s success did not hinge on the use of MOVA technology. The case is now before a jury though, with the holidays approaching, it’s unclear when the verdict will be announced.

2: BIRN Texts on Turkish Fraudster Falsely Reported over Copyright

Next up today, BRIN has announced that they have been the target of a pair of false copyright notices, both of which targeted articles they had published about Yasam Ayavefe, a man they call a “Turkish fraudster”.

BIRN is a regional publication that is focused on the southern and eastern European nations. However, the company’s flagship website, Balkan Insight, was the target of two dubious copyright notices. The notices purported to be from two separate filers, one in the United States and the other France, but both claimed that the articles on Balkan Insight were first published on free blogging platforms.

The notices were sent to BIRN’s web host, who forwarded the notices to them. BIRN says that they investigated the notices, found that the articles were authentic, and reported to their host that the notices were false. While the articles never came down, BIRN is calling on large hosts to do more to validate the sources of copyright notices and reduce the number of false notices forwarded on.

3: ‘Apollo Has Entered the Chat’: Author Accuses Black Writer of Copyright Infringement for Sun-Themed Superpowers

Finally today, V Roth at The Daily Dot reports that author Lauren M. Davis took to X (formerly Twitter) to accuse a fellow author, Michael Anson, of infringing her work by announcing a book where the protagonist has supernatural powers connected with the sun.

According to Davis, Anson’s new book, which had only been announced and not released, infringed on her earlier work. She vowed that Anson would hear from her attorneys, regardless of what country she is in.

However, the internet roundly mocked Davis, highlighting the dubious claim of similarity based on sun powers. This included mocking tweets noting all the various sun gods/goddesses from mythology, as well as modern characters that feature similar powers. Davis has deleted most of her tweets, but did say she spoke with an attorney and plans to evaluate the Anson’s book when the final version comes out.

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