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Note: We are returning from a week’s vacation so today’s stories may be a bit more dated as we get caught up. We should return to regularly scheduled posts tomorrow.
First off today, Tim Kenneally at TheWrap reports that visual FX company Rearden LLC have filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox alleging that some of their films used stolen technology to create the facial expressions of their characters.
Rearden says that it invented and licenses a technology known as MOVA Contour Reality Capture, which is used to take facial expressions from a human actor and superimpose them on a digital rendition. According to the lawsuits, the defendants used the technology in 2015’s Terminator Genesys and 2016’s Deadpool despite neither film having a license to use the technology.
According to Rearden, the defendants had licensed the technology for earlier films but, for the ones above, they chose to employ another entity which was using a stolen version of the technology. This new lawsuit follows a similar one against Disney for several of its recent films. In all of the lawsuits, Rearden is alleging copyright over the output of the software, which it says makes the films a copyright infringement.
Next up today, Ashley Cullins at Billboard reports that a judge has denied Beyonce’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the estate of Anthony Barre, known as Messy Mya.
The issue deals with sampling of Barre’s work in the Beyonce song Formation. According to the lawsuit, Barre’s voice appears throughout the song and pulls from at least two pieces of his work. Beyonce attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed on fair use grounds but the judge decided that was inappropriate and that more information was needed to make that decision.
However, the judge is not ruling that the sampling isn’t a fair use. At this early stage the judge has to treat all of the plaintiff’s statements as fact and determine if there is a case present. At this time, the judge has ruled the lawsuit should move forward but did dismiss one of Barre’s claims, this one for unjust enrichment.
3: The Beatles’ Apple Corps Wins Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit Over 1965 Shea Stadium Concert Footage
Finally today, Aaron Katersky and Matt Friedlander at ABC News report that Beatles’ Apple Corp has emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed by Sid Bernstein Presents, a company whose namesake was responsible for promoting the Beatles’ famous August 1965 concert at Shea Stadium.
The lawsuit was filed when Apple Music used footage from the concert in a 2016 documentary. Sid Bernstein Presents claimed that the late Sid Bernstein was the producer of the event and, as such, held copyright over the footage from it.
However, the judge found otherwise. After looking at a 1965 contact between the two, it was clear that Bernstein had waived all rights to the filming or recording of the concert. As such, Apple Music was the owner of the footage and the copyright infringement claims were dismissed.
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.