3 Count: Artificial Hypocrisy

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1: Supreme Court Opens Doors to Massive Copyright Infringement Damages In Case Against Warner Music

First off today, Winston Cho at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of music producer Sherman Nealy in his case against Warner Chappell Music.

According to the lawsuit, the 2008 song In the Ayer by Flo Rida uses an unlicensed sample of Nealy’s work. However, he was in prison when the song was released and wasn’t aware of the infringement until his release.

Under copyright law, plaintiffs have a three-year window to file a lawsuit. However, according to the discovery rule, the clock doesn’t start until the plaintiff either learns or should have learned about the infringement. That still left open questions about what damages such a plaintiff could collect. Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that, as long as the lawsuit was timely filed, the three-year window does not apply to damages, opening Warner to 16 years’ worth of damages in the case.

2: OpenAI, a Company Built on ‘scraping’ Content without Permission, Makes a Copyright Claim Against a Subreddit Using Its Logo

Next up today, Rich Stanton at PC Gamer reports that OpenAI has filed a copyright claim against the subreddit /r/ChatGPT over the group’s use of the OpenAI logo.

The logo was removed but restored after OpenAI changed its mind. However, before the image was restored, users of the subreddit noted the juxtaposition of a company famous for scraping copyright-protected content to train AI systems complaining about their own creations being used.

Like other AI companies, OpenAI faces dozens of lawsuits for using copyright-protected works. Users of /r/ChatGPT described the company’s move as “hypocritical,” and many took to OpenAI’s image generation tools to create non-infringing versions of the OpenAI logo.

3: Warner Bros. Lifted Copyright Strike for Fan Film Amid Backlash

Finally today, Monica Coman at CBR reports that Warner Bros. has rescinded a copyright claim that took down a beloved fan film based on the Lord of the Rings series of books and movies.

The film The Hunt for Gollum was first uploaded in 2009. It has received over 13 million views and, despite being an unauthorized production, has been allowed to stay online. However, Warner is now preparing for a new film in the franchise, tentatively titled Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.

The creators of the fan film say that they aren’t sure what happened but did note that the film was briefly removed due to a copyright claim but reinstated shortly thereafter.

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