IP Top 10 August: Copyright Infringement in Music and… Tardigrades?
Welcome back to the IP Top 10. In this edition, we have a high-profile lawsuit copyright lawsuit being dropped and a host of copyright claims taking up column inches. So let’s not waste any more time, and get underway.
Yellowcard Drops A $15M Copyright Lawsuit Against Juice Wrld!
We covered in a previous edition of the IP Top 10, that American rock band Yellowcard persued a copyright claim against Juice Wrld for $15 million due to alleged copying in his song “Lucid Dreams.”
However, the most recent news on this case is that Yellowcard has now dropped this case. Following the untimely death of the rapper in 2019, Yellowcard had sought to pursue the case and were waiting for an executor of his estate to become a representative. However upon the announcement that Juice WRLD's grieving mother would be that representative - that they felt uncomfortable to continue. Despite this, the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning that it could be refiled in the future.
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Claim against Disney turned "inside out" by court
Carla Jo Masterson had alleged that that the Disney film "Inside Out" had infringed upon her poetry book "What's on the Other Side of the Rainbow (A Book of Feelings" and movie script "The Secret of the Golden Mirror".
This was the 2nd copyright infringement case relating to Inside Out that Disney had found themselves defending - and the second of which the Ninth Circuit Court sided with Disney stating that the works “were not substantially similar.”
For more information on this case, Inside The Magic has more.
T-Series sues Roposo for alleged copyright infringement
In the 2nd copyright infringement story for this IP Top 10, the music label, T-Series has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Roposo, a short-video app owned by advertising technology company InMobi.
In the lawsuit, the alleged copyright infringement comes from Roposo as they are “blatantly, extensively and wilfully” infringing on the works of T-Series.
T-Series is perhaps most well known for competing with PewDiePie for the title of most-followed account on YouTube; with their account posting videos from their roster of artists.
In this case, Roposo, a short video app is alleged to offer T-Series' copyright material within their library for user generated content - essentially providing T-Series music for users to accompany their videos with.
It has also alleged that Roposo removes all rights pertaining to the copyrighted songs from their music library.
For more information, Tech.com has the latest.
DISH-ing out a claim for retransmission
Television provider DISH Network filed a copyright infringement complaint against individuals who were representing themselves under several different names.
Specifically, the individuals are alleged to have retransmitted exclusively licensed channels through the defendants' "Universe IPTV Service" to subscriptions paying users.
Perhaps most notably, DISH is seeking recompense from individuals directly also stating that the same did not reply to any request to remove the alleged infringing materials.
For more information, LawStreetMedia has the latest.
Vietnam Tech Company Accuses TikTok of Copyright Violation
VNG, a Vietnamese technology firm, has issued a claim to the popular short-form video app service TikTok, for lack of adequate licenses for subsidiary "Zing" songs being used in user videos.
VNG stated, “we request TikTok to remove all music segments taken from Zing records from both the TikTok website and applications.”
This case represents the latest pertaining to copyright licensing and rapidly growing technology platforms - which find themselves dealing with legal wrangles after the fact.
Perhaps most interesting is the comment from the Vietnam Music Association who state: "notably, TikTok has introduced a very complicated business model to avoid copyright compliance in Vietnam". A damning allegation, indeed.
For more on this case, Reuters has the latest.
Kanye West is being sued for alleged copyright infringement
MyChannel, a video e-commerce company, has sued Kanye West for copyright infringement.
In a report, MyChannel state that their initial agreement with West would provide “tens of thousands of hours in investment in Yeezy”. However instead of receiving the $10million dollar investment expected from the rap superstar - their video technology was infringed without any payment.
MyChannel alleges that Kanye has used a version of their video technology to sell merchandise during his "Sunday Service" videos in the past year.
For more on this case, Far Out Magazine has more.
Lizzo Notches a Win in ‘Truth Hurts’ Copyright Case
A group of songwriters put in a copyright infringement case against Lizzo for using the lyrics in her song “Truth Hurts.”
However, the judge noted that because a group of songwriters had worked with Lizzo on a different song ("Healthy"), which was alleged to have contained a key lyric.
Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court in LA dismissed the claim, stating "as a matter of law, a joint author of one copyrightable work does not automatically gain ownership of a derivative work in which the joint author had no hand in creating".
Amendments to the claim may be made, meaning that this one is not likely done and dusted.
For the latest, The New York Times has more.
CBS Beats Copyright Claims Over Star Trek: Discovery
CBS and Netflix received a copyright claim against them in relation to Star Trek: Discovery from game developer Anas Abdin for alleged use of the concept of a large tardigrade creature from an unreleased point-and-click game "Tardigrades".
The initial claim was first dismissed by the court for the Southern District of New York in September 2019.
The claim has failed once more on the basis that the qualities the tardigrade creature within the television show exhibits are " generalized expression of a scientific fact - namely, the known ability of a tardigrade to survive in space..."
For more information, Gizmodo has the latest.
Drake Tried to Trademark His Album Title, But He Forgot About Loverboy
A very interesting case with this one, as shortly after Drake released his latest hit single “Laugh Now, Cry Later” Drake initially announced that his new album would be titled “Certified Lover Boy.”
However, trouble was brewing behind the scenes as the Toronto superstar was unable to trade mark the term, restricting his rights to use that name.
It remains to be seen whether the rap giant will press on in using the title for his album regardless of his inability to trade mark the name.
The lack of watertight IP ownership over the name will be a hit to Graham's bottom line.
To find out more, Uproxx has the latest.
Kendrick Lamar Is Being Sued For Copyright Infringement For The Song ‘Loyalty’
Terrance Hayes, a composer, sued Kendrick Lamar for copyright infringement for the song “Loyalty.”
Having worked with a collaborator of Kendrick, Hayes alleges that pianist Terrace Martin had access to the song via a laptop.
Hayes stated that the “artist ripped off his entire composition, including the harmony, melody and rhythm.”
The Hayes original version of Loyalty has not yet been made publically available.
For more information on the case, Celebrity Insider has more.
And that's it for our IP Top 10 this month! To speak to any of our team of intellectual property specialists, use the contact form below, or ring the number at the top of the page.