TuneIn Loses Appeal in UK infringement Lawsuit, Nike sues MSCHF for copyright infringement, Goldsmith wins copyright infringement suit against Warhol’s work, Publishing company Wiley emphasizes importance of open access and legal sustainability and Brexit does not hasten exit from EU Copyright Law.
TUNEIN LOSES APPEAL IN UK INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
In the original ruling in 2019, the UK High Court decided against the San Francisco-based digital radio service and ruled that it breached the copyright of the music companies through unlicensed streams overseas but at the same time, there was no copyright infringement for its licensed streams in the UK. Following this, TuneIn had appealed against the Court’s decision, however, the Court of Appeals of England & Wales has reaffirmed and upheld its original verdict. The verdict was celebrated by music creators as it maintained that big radio services cannot stream unlicensed sound recordings and avoid paying copyright holders. As Warner Music Group spokesperson remarked, “The decision today of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales reaffirms an important step against TuneIn’s blatant copyright infringement”.
NIKE SUES MSCHF FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
The sneaker giant Nike has claimed that the Satan shoes made in collaboration with the “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X have been done without its approval or authorization. While filing the lawsuit, Nike stated that the “erroneous association” has created much confusion about its connection to the project and has resulted in the brand being boycotted.
Nike has clarified that, the Satan shoes pictured on MSCHF’S website are exact replicas of the AIR MAX 97’ with visible alterations such as a drop of human blood and 60 icc ink incorporated on the sole of each shoe. Following the hate that Nike received, it has released a statement explaining that it does not wish to endorse the limited edition 666 shoes and has also filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against MSCHF.
GOLDSMITH WINS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT SUIT AGAINST WARHOL’S WORK
The New York 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of Lynn Goldsmith for her Prince photograph and has held that Andy Warhol’s portrait photo of Prince cannot be categorised as transformative and is therefore violative of the photographer’s copyright. The long and strenuous legal battle commenced in 2016 when it was brought to Goldsmith’s attention when Vanity Fair magazine published Warhol’s portrait after obtaining the license from the Andy Warhol’s Foundation (AWF). She notified AWF of Warhol’s copyright infringement and they responded with a preemptive lawsuit claiming fair use before Goldsmith could make the first move legally.
In 2019, the district court’s verdict was in favour of Warhol and had upheld its fair use claim. However, the recent verdict by the US Appeals Court has overturned the District Court’s ruling and stated that it has erred in determining that the Prince Series work was transformative and subject to fair use. The verdict was widely celebrated by photographers as it reiterated the exclusive rights enjoyed by original creators over controlling derivative works that are created under the guise of fair use.
PUBLISHING COMPANY WILEY EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF OPEN ACCESS AND LEGAL SUSTAINABILITY
The American-based publishing company Wiley foresees that the expansion of open access globally would open doors to advanced scientific discoveries and knowledge sharing in the post-pandemic world. A spokesperson for Wiley India remarked that, the lawsuit filed against free online repositories such as Sci-Hub and Libgen in the Delhi High Court for copyright infringement will not have an effect on open access journals in India. It was further stated that, there is a need to address online repositories that illegally harvest proprietary intellectual property especially in light of cyber-security and data concerns. Additionally, Wiley will also be looking towards working with Indian universities and libraries and aims to grant unrestricted access to upcoming educational institutions at reduced cost, that is, at a cost equivalent to student rates.
BREXIT DOES NOT HASTEN EXIT FROM EU COPYRIGHT LAW
The Court of Appeal in London followed the law laid down by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in a recent copyright ruling, signaling UK’s resistance to diverge from EU Law despite Brexit. It was clear from the judgment passed by the Court of Appeal in UK that they had no intention of hastening legal divergence between the UK and EU and that any significant legal change had to be brought out through legislation.
The relevant legislation for which change was hinted upon was Section 20 of the UKs CDPA (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act which provides content creators amongst other things the exclusive right to control the “communication to the public of their works”. Generally, it is considered copyright infringement, if third parties communicate content without the permission of the rights holder.
The Court cited a number of reasons for not departing from the jurisprudence of the CJEU on the aspect of considering whether or not there has been unauthorized “communication to the public” of copyright works. It considered the fact that Section 20 of the CDPA was derived from EU legislation and in the absence of the “will of the Parliament” to bring post Brexit Legislative changes “Courts of the (WIPO Treaties) contracting states should be striving for consistency of interpretation”.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Sanjana Rebecca (Legal Intern)
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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