3 Count: This is America

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1: Rapper Kidd Wes Wants to Bring Back Copyright Suit Against Donald Glover

First off today, Nika Schoonover at Courthouse News Service reports that rapper Kidd Wes has filed an appeal in his case against fellow rapper Donald Glover, asking the Appeals Court to revive the case.

Wes sued Glover, who uses the stage name Childish Gambino, alleging that Glover’s 2018 song, This is America, infringes Wes’ 2016 song with the same title. Attorneys for Glover argued that the alleged similarities were not protectable under copyright, but the case was eventually dismissed due to an issue with the copyright registration.

Wes has now filed an appeal to the Second Circuit, hoping to revive the case. According to Wes, the registration issue is an “administrative error” and should not disqualify him from copyright protection. However, the judges hearing the case seemed skeptical of that argument.

2: Thaler, Copyright Office Fight Over Human-Authorship Requirement for AI-Created Artwork Continues

Next up today, Steve Brachmann at IP Watchdog reports that artist Stephen Thaler has filed a brief with the US Court of Appeals for the DC District claiming that an AI-generated work is eligible for copyright protection and that the United States Copyright Office erred when denying him a registration.

Thaler had attempted to register an AI-generated work titled A Recent Entrance to Paradise. However, the USCO denied that registration, saying that human authorship is required for a work to be eligible for copyright protection. Thaler then appealed through the USCO itself and eventually took the matter to a district court, which sided with the USCO.

Thaler is now appealing that decision, claiming that property laws should make the work eligible for copyright protection. He further claims that the AI was acting as an “employee” of his and that it was a work for hire. As such, he argues that he should be granted copyright in the image.

3: Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights Settles Copyright Lawsuit With Vermont Radio Station Group

Finally today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that the performing rights organization (PRO) Global Music Rights (GMR) has settled with a Vermont-based broadcaster that they allege used 66 songs they licensed without permission or payment.

GMR was founded in 2013 as an alternative to ASCAP and BMI, the major PROs in the country. Though smaller than its competitors, GMR has many popular songwriters, including Bruce Springsteen, Prince and John Lennon. In January, GMR filed a lawsuit against the Vermont Broadcast Association (VBA), alleging they were using at least 66 songs from the GMR catalog without permission.

However, the two sides have settled. Though the terms have not been disclosed, GMR has said that the settlement grants a long-term license for the music and a correction for any past infringements.

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