3 Count: Thinking Out Loud

Soon, litigating out loud too...

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1: Musician Ed Sheeran Faces Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Thinking Out Loud’

First off today, Eric Johnson at Reuters reports that the estate of Marvin Gaye has filed another copyright infringement lawsuit, this one targeting Ed Sheeran and his hit song Thinking Out Loud.

According to the estate, Thinking Out Loud is a copyright infringement of the 1973 Marvin Gaye song Let’s Get it On. Specifically, the lawsuit cites melodic, harmonic and rhythmic compositions from Thinking Out Loud that are similar to the drum composition of Let’s Get it On.

The Marvin Gaye estate recently won a similar lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the song Blurred Lines. In that lawsuit, they argued Blurred Lines was an infringement of Got to Give it Up, another Marvin Gaye song.

2: Court Affirms $25m Piracy Verdict Against Cox, Rejects Spying Request

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that a Virginia judge has upheld ad a $25 million jury verdict against internet service provider Cox Communications but also denied a request to require Cox to  monitor for piracy on their network.

The lawsuit was filed by music publisher BMG, which claimed that Cox did not do enough to disconnect suspected pirates or otherwise stop piracy on its network. The jury found Cox liable for contributory copyright infringement and ordered them to pay $25 million in damages.

Cox had asked the court to overturn the verdict as a matter of law but the court has declined to do so, setting the stage for a likely appeal. Similar, BMG had asked the court to issue a permanent injunction ordering Cox to cease pirating on its network. That would have required Cox to inspect and filter network traffic. BMG is also likely to appeal.

3: ‘Jersey Boys’ Copyright Trial Set for Halloween

Finally today, Mike Heuer at Courthouse News Service reports that a judge has set a trial date of October 31st in the Jersey Boys case, which pit the widow of Four Seasons member Rex Woodard against others in the group as well as Thomas Devito, who published the biography the play is based upon.

According to the lawsuit, Woodard worked with DeVito to produce a autobiography of his time with the group. However, Woodard died before the manuscript could be published. Devito, years later, would say that the book was not salable but had previously registered the work. According to his Donna Corbello, Woodward’s widow, that book would go on to be the basis for the Jersey Boys.

However, the case is deeply complex as a 1999 agreement made other band members joint owners of the work, making it nearly impoossible for them to be infringers of it. However, Corbello is arguing that the agreement lapsed due to an included reversionary clause. As such, at the Halloween trial, the jury  must determine if the reversionary clause makes the others in the group liable for copyright infringement and, if so, if another implied license would negate such claims.


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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