3 Count: Sunday Ticket

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1: Meme Use In Political Ad Isn’t Fair Use–Griner v. King

First off today, Eric Goldman at Technology & Marketing Law Blog reports that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a jury verdict that found former US Representative Steve King had infringed the copyright in the “Success Kid” meme by using it as part of his 2020 reelection campaign.

Laney Griner, the mother of Sam Griner, who took the iconic photo, filed the lawsuit. Though the image has been widely used in memes, she objected to its use as part of King’s failed reelection campaign. She sued, alleging both copyright infringement and the violation of Sam’s publicity rights.

The case went to a trial, and the jury found that King had not violated Sam’s publicity rights. The jury did find that the political meme was a copyright infringement but awarded only $750 in damages, the statutory minimum. The campaign appealed the decision, citing fair use, but the appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision, including the damages amount.

2: Indonesia Clamps Down On Piracy Of Streamer Vidio’s Content On Telegram

Next up today, Sara Merican at Deadline reports that, in Indonesia, the West Java Police have arrested two individuals who allegedly shared pirated content via Telegram channels.

The move comes at the behest of Vidio, a local streaming service, and others in the local film and television industry. They allege that the operator profited “hundreds of millions of rupiah” (tens of thousands of United States dollars) from the operations.

Vidio currently has 4.1 million subscribers and is home to many of the largest sports organizations in the country. They said they hope the government will continue their cooperation and efforts to reduce piracy in the country.

3: Is NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ Overpriced? The Answer May Shape the Future of Sports Rights

Finally today, Winston Cho at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a trial has begun pitting the NFL against a class of customers who feel that the league’s Sunday Ticket system is too expensive.

According to the lawsuit, the NFL conspired with its 32 teams to artificially raise the cost of watching out-of-market games. Specifically, they claim that the only way to watch such games is by purchasing the expensive Sunday Ticket package, which gives access to all games. There’s no way to buy a single game or the games of a single team.

The lawsuit could significantly impact how sports are licensed in the United States. The trial is ongoing.

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