3 Count: Importing Morals

Egyptian laws with American penalties...

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1: “Big Pimpin'” Appellate Arguments Focus on Labels

First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the lawsuit over Jay-Z and Timbaland’s song Big Pimpin’ is before the 9th Circuit as the heir to a famous Egyptian composer attempts to argue the duo did not have the right to use a sample in the song.

Big Pimpin’ featured a sample from the song Khosara Khosara by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdy. In 2007, Hamdy’s heir, Osama Fahmy, sued the duo (along with others involved in the song) alleging copyright infringement. However, the defendants argued that they had licensed the sample through a series of intermediaries.

Hamdy’s lawsuit was dismissed at the lower court over lack of standing but he appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing the issue was moral rights. In many other countries, creators and their heirs have a series of inalienable rights to a work known as moral rights. These are separate from the economic rights and deal more with the ways a work is used and how it is attributed. Hamdy argues that the Egyptian moral rights should be honored in the U.S. but the defendants say that not only is there no grounds for that but that Hamdy is wanting more rights and protections that would be available in Egypt.

2: Houston Jury Awards Energy Publisher $585,000 for Copyright Violations

Next up today, L.M. Sixel at the Houston Chronicle reports that Energy Intelligence Group  (EIG) has emerged victorious in its case against Kanye Anderson Capital as a jury has awarded them $585,000 in damages for the unauthorized sharing of its newsletters.

EIG is a publisher of some 15 newsletters that companies, including Kayne, pay to subscribe to. However, when a Kanye employee accidentally revealed that he was forwarding on the newsletters, EIG filed a lawsuit against them and approximately a dozen other companies. However, where all of the other companies settled their cases with EIG, Kanye fought on and took the matter to a trial.

That trial began on Monday and concluded Thursday and was a victory for EIG. The jury awarded $15,000 for each of 39 different incidents of copying, totaling some $585,000 in damages. By contrast, a single issue of the newsletter sells for $95.

3: Kohler Suing Online Retailer Essential Hardware for Copyright Infringement

Finally today, Arthur Thomas at BizTimes reports that Kohler has filed a lawsuit against online retailer Essential Hardware alleging copyright infringement of product images owned by Kohler.

According to the lawsuit Essential Hardware is selling some of Kohler’s products but, rather than taking new images of the faucets, reused Kohler’s images without permission. Though Kohler does regularly license the images to authorized retailers, Essential Hardware has no such license.

Kohler is seeking at least $75,000 in damages for the infringements as well as any profits made from the use of the images.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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