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First off today, David Kravets at Ars Technica reports that District of Columbia-based publisher Fastcase has filed a lawsuit against their Virginia-based competitor Lawriter asking the court to halt a cease and desist effort by Lawriter that aims to prevent Fastcase from publishing the Georgia legal code.
According to the lawsuit, Lawriter claims that it has entered into an exclusive publishing agreement with the State of Georgia to publish the complete set of the legal code. Lawriter then sent Fastcase a cease and desist, demanding that either stop publishing the law or purchase a subscription from them. Fastcase has filed a preemptive lawsuit asking the court to rule that Lawriter has no exclusive rights to the code and that laws can not be copyright protected.
The case mirrors a similar one that pits the State of Georgia itself against Public.Resource.org, a site that aims to make the legal code available for free. That case is pending.
Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Fox Broadcasting and Dish Network have reached a settlement in their long-running case over Dish Network’s “AutoHop” service, which allows users to automatically skip commercials.
Fox sued Dish alleging that the AutoHop service violated their copyrights. The courts eventually ruled that the service, along with the Dish Anywhere feature that allows customers to watch broadcasts on other devices, do not infringe copyright. However, the court did rule that the service might violate contracts between the two, a matter that was still pending.
However, the two sides have now informed the court that they have settled the dispute. While the full terms have not been disclosed, Dish has announced that AutoHop will not be available on Fox programming until seven days after the program airs. ABC and CBS have previously settled similar cases with Dish.
Finally today, Charlotte Eyre at The Bookseller reports that lawyers for Cassandra Claire have already hit back at a lawsuit filed against her, saying that the plaintiff has failed to identify an protectable speech that was copied or identify any real plagiarism.
The lawsuit was filed by fellow author Sherrilyn Kenyon, who claims that Claire took key elements from her Shadowhunter series from Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books. Elements cited include similar themes, characters, plot elements and more. Kenyon also took umbridge with the name Shadowhunter, saying that Claire had previously agreed to minimize the use of the name only to make it the title of her work.
However, Claire’s lawyer has filed a response saying that the complaint is “filled with basic factual inaccuracies” and that none of the elements Kenyon is complaining about are protected under copyright. The response also denies any agreement between Claire and Kenyon over the name and, further, that Kenyon never contacted her about the issues.
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.