3 Count: Three’s Company

3 Count: Three's Company Image

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1: Citing ‘Greatest American Hero’ Case, Judge Rules ‘Three’s Company’ Parody Doesn’t Violate Copyright: Media

First off today, Jeremy Gerard at Deadline Hollywood reports that a judge has ruled that the play 3C is not an infringement of the TV show Three’s Company and is actually a parody that is protected by fair use.

3C was an off-broadway play based on the TV show but looking at it from an alternate universe where John Ritter’s character is actually gay and other characters are who they claimed or appeared to be. After it’s run concluded, DLT Entertainment, the rightsholders to the show, sued claiming it was an infringement. DLT noted that the play was based entirely on the show, its premise and characters.

However, the judge has ruled that the use was highly transformative and was not a mere derivative work, creating something new that is protected. In the ruling, the judge cited the case of Warner Brothers vs. ABC, which compared Superman to The Greatest American Hero, a case eventually won by ABC and the parody.

2: Nintendo Issues Takedown Notice for Super Mario 64 HD Project

Next up today, Tom Phillips at EuroGamer reports that Nintendo has ordered the takedown of a fan recreation of the first level of Super Mario 64 that was done in the Unity and was available to play directly in the web browser.

The project drew widespread attention when the developer, Erik Ross, posted the project both for others to play and other developers to download and learn from. Nintendo, having recently announced a move to start publishing games for mobile devices, has filed takedown notices for all of the files related to the project.

Ross, for his part, has called the takedown “fair enough” and has voluntarily removed all versions under his control, whether or not they received a notice directly.

3: IT troubles plague Federal Copyright Office

Finally today, Michael Cooney at NetworkWorld reports that the Government Accountability Office has released a report stating that the U.S. Copyright Office has requested $7 million in funding to improve and upgrade it’s IT infrastructure but has failed to justify the cost.

The Copyright Office requested the money to overhaul its struggling IT infrastructure, which has to process nearly half a million copyright registrations annually. However, the GAO said that they failed to identify the business needs they are aiming to meet, the expected costs and how it aligns with their strategic plan.

The Copyright Office itself admits that it doesn’t have a plan for the overhaul but says that part of the funding is to develop such a plan. It goes on to say that, if it doesn’t get help soon, its IT infrastructure may adversely affect its ability to carry out its mission.


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.

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