Rihanna faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, Sherlock Holmes Lawsuit dismissed, Spotify launches Plagiarism Risk Detector, Gaming Companies settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit and Trump argues about protection under the Anti-SLAPP Law.
Rihanna faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Rihanna is being sued by King Khan and his daughter Saba Lou for allegedly using their song “Good Habits (and Bad), as part of an advertisement for the Fenty campaign. Both Khan and Lou claimed that, Rihanna used the song without their permission.
The lawsuit claims that the Fenty ad got 3.4 million views, but the exact amount of damages sought by Khan and Lou are still unknown.
Sherlock Holmes Lawsuit dismissed
Netflix and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate have recently dismissed a lawsuit that was previously filed against Netflix by Doyle’s estate. The lawsuit claimed that Netflix’s film Enola Holmes portrayed the character of Sherlock Holmes as being too emotional, and respectful towards women, which violated Doyle’s copyright. While many of the stories based on Sherlock Holmes, is part of the public domain, stories like Enola Holmes, however, reimagines Holmes having a younger sister and can freely repurpose their elements.
According to Doyle’s estate, 10 of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories are still protected by copyright, and the Doyle estate argued that they depict a meaningfully different version of the character, alleging that, Enola Holmes unlawfully used this copyrighted version of Holmes. Further, Doyle’s estate also sued Nancy Springer, the author of the original Enola Holmes series of books, along with Netflix, Springer’s publisher, and the film adaptation’s production company. In response to the lawsuit the defendants stated that, Doyle’s estate was trying to copyright “generic concepts like warmth, kindness, empathy, or respect”, rather than any specific plot or character elements contained in those stories.
Spotify launches Plagiarism Risk Detector
Spotify, the music streaming app, is developing a “Plagiarism Risk Detector and Interface”, to help artists avoid lawsuits by revealing similarities in already-published songs, by scanning inputted music for plagiarism. This technology will be scanning each song using a “lead sheet”, which is a form of musical notation common in the music industry. The interface’s plagiarism detection utilizes artificial intelligence “trained on a plurality of pre-existing encoded lead sheets.”
Spotify has applied for a patent for this technology, which through the database would allow the program to potentially determine a “level” of plagiarism in the song in close to real-time and give the user “a similarity value” comparing the song to other lead sheets in Spotify’s database. The Plagiarism Risk Detector “is a graphical user interface (GUI)”, which is more intuitive and precise while detecting plagiarised music.
Gaming Companies settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Gaming company Grover Gaming and its sister company, Banilla Games, sued another gaming company, TNT Amusements for allegedly using “unknown software” to hack and copy Grover’s Fusion Package of games and selling pirated copies on the open market at a lower price than the original. The Fusion Package is employed primarily for businesses operating in the Georgia Lottery’s coin-operated amusement machine (COAM) market.
“COAM’s are licensed and regulated gaming machines that are like slots, but with greater elements of skill, and they do not offer cash prizes. Instead, winning players receive vouchers that can be used to buy products in the establishment where the COAM is located.”
TNT however, denied the allegations made in the lawsuit, and stated that, it had not misappropriated any of Grover’s and Banilla’s trade secrets because the companies “lack valid copyright registrations for the intellectual property rights asserted, or have not properly or timely registered such works.” This dispute seems to have been settled now, since Grover has withdrawn the lawsuit, after TNT agreed to refrain from distributing the software package and to keep its hands off Grover’s confidential information and trade secrets.
Trump argues about protection under the Anti-SLAPP Law
The Anti-SLAPP (Strategic lawsuit against public participation) law was amended by the Governor of New York, so that defendants hauled into court over their First Amendment-protected rights could escape litigation quickly. “The First Amendment allows others to create parody memes of footage that Plaintiffs themselves published.” Donald Trump is now seeking protection under this law, following a lawsuit filed against him for retweeting a video. The second defendant in this lawsuit is the creator of the video. In response to the lawsuit, Trump has filed an Anti-SLAPP motion and has deemed the same to be a political lawsuit, since the plaintiffs are registered democrats.
Further, Trump claims that the lawsuit aims to suppress his free speech rights “by seeking to punish them for doing nothing more than re-posting and re-tweeting a parody meme with a political message.” Donald Trump is currently seeking protection under the Anti-SLAPP law to dismiss this lawsuit.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels)
The Copyright Law News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the Entertainment Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected] with the subject: Copyright Law News
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