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First off today, Eriq Gardner at Billboard reports that a judge has granted the Beastie Boys summary judgment, tossing aside a sampling lawsuit filed by TufAmerica that accused the band of using unlicensed samples in their 1989 album Paul’s Boutique.
TufAmerica has become well known for filing lawsuits against artists that it claims sampled music it controls, with varying degrees of success. They are known for using technology to detect previously unrecognized samples and filing lawsuits demanding damages and royalties.
This case centered around the band Trouble Funk, which the Beastie Boys sampled on their album. However, the 1999 deal between Trouble Funk and TufAmerica only included two of the three members. The third signed a deal in 2012, but that deal only included the “right to sue”, which is not recognized under the copyright act. This means TufAmerica, at most, has non-exclusive rights in the track since one of the coauthors is not fully on board. With no exclusive rights to the song, the judge felt there was no choice but to dismiss the case.
Next up today Victoria Slind-Flor at Bloomberg reports that Perfect 10 has been ordered to pay Usenet access provider Giganews $5.6 million in attorney fees and litigation costs for their failed lawsuit against the company.
Perfect 10, a pornography company, filed suit in 2011 alleging that Giganews failed to comply with Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices sent to it. However, Giganews claimed that the notices were inadequate and the court agreed, ruling in November 2014 that Giganews’ lack of compliance was not a violation of the law.
The court took exception to Perfect 10’s history, which has involved countless similar lawsuit against companies such as Google, but never resulted in a win for Perfect 10. However, this is the first time the company has been ordered to pay legal fees. Perfect 10 fought the fees Giganews requested, claiming the high total was a “billing frenzy” but the judge sided with Giganews, saying that case justified the high legal bills.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that a U.S. court has ordered the seizure of some $67 million in assets from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.
Dotcom was arrested and Meguapload shuttered in January 2012 over accusations of criminal copyright infringement. He is currently facing extradition to the United States, which he is fighting. In the meantime, the U.S. government launched a civil asset forfeiture process and, though attorneys for Dotcom attempted to battle the seizure here in the states, Dotcom was ruled to be a fugitive and ineligible to use the courts to defend his assets.
As a result, the judge entered a default judgment ordering the seizure of some $67 million in bank accounts both in Hong Kong and New Zealand as well as various assets bought with those accounts. However, Dotcom has said that the ruling will enable him to appeal the earlier judgments barring him from defending his assets, which he is planning on doing.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.