3 Count: Why the Long Face?

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1: Nirvana ‘Smiley Face’ Copyright Dispute Back in Court

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the legal battle over the Nirvana “Smiley Face” logo is back and court as the band is wanting the case to move forward though a third party is hoping to have their appeal heard first.

The case began when the company that holds the rights to Nirvana’s work, Nirvana LLC, sued fashion designer Marc Jacobs over a t-shirt he sold that featured a similar design. However, after the lawsuit was filed, artist Robert Fisher claimed to be the creator of the logo and the copyright holder.

However, Fisher’s arguments were dismissed by the court, with the judge agreeing with Nirvana LLC that Kurt Cobain created the logo and that they are the rightsholders. Now the band wants the case against Marc Jacobs to start moving forward after years of delays, but Fisher is arguing that his appeal should be heard first, something Marc Jacobos’ legal team agrees with.

2: NCC Files Criminal Charges Against MTN, Four Others Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Ivory Ukonu at The Will reports that the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has filed criminal charges against local cell phone provider MTN over the alleged infringement of copyright-protected music.

According to the charges, between 2010 and 2017 MTN offered various ring back tones for sale that featured the work of musicians all without having a proper license to the songs. This includes a variety of local artists.

The charges also target the CEO of MTN and another company that was allegedly connected to the sale of unlicensed works. The case has not been assigned to a judge and the article does not way what the potential penalties for the infringement are.

3: Piracy Shield Source Code & Internal Documentation Leak Online

Finally today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that the code for the new Italian anti-piracy platform, dubbed Piracy Shield, has been leaked online with several repositories purporting to have the full code.

The new system was implemented late last year and aimed to be a way for copyright holders to dynamically block copyright-infringing content on local ISPs. The system was controversial over fears that it would be used for censorship purposes rather than to stop piracy. These issues were furthered by blocks that impacted legitimate content delivery networks instead of pirate sites.

Previously, a site launched that allowed users to check what sites and IP addresses were in the Piracy Shield. However, now things have gone another step, with someone leaking the entire source code for the system. The anonymous leaker said that system is a “dangerous gateway” that’s “disguised as a solution to piracy.”

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