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First off today, Kyle Jahner at Bloomberg Law reports that a New York NBC affiliate has lost its bid to have a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit filed by photographer Boris Shirman.
According to Shirman, WHEC of Rochester, NY used images, audio and video that he created to compile a roughly 25-second piece about the political views of students. Shirman is a photojournalism student at the Rochester Institute of Technology and created the segment as part of his classwork.
However, he claims that WHEC used an eight-second clip as well as another 15 seconds of audio overlayed with still images from his work to produce a segment for their news broadcast. The use, though credited, was without permission and Shirman filed a lawsuit. Shirman largely survived the motion to dismiss, with the judge saying there is enough fair use questions to move forward, but the judge did toss Shirman’s bid for attorneys’ fees noting that Shirman filed the registration for his work after the alleged infringement took place.
Next up today, Chris Roush at Talking Biz News reports that the personal finance website The Penny Hoarder is suing New York-based company Fluent LLC alleging that Fluent’s website, The Smart Wallet stole ideas, employees and articles.
Both websites deal with personal finance issues and have offices in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to The Penny Hoarder, Fluent has been engaged in something of a bullying campaign that involves poaching employees, opening an office right across the street from them and even encouraging their employees to hack The Penny Hoarder’s computer network.
The lawsuit, which was filed May 15, also cites 18 examples where The Penny Hoarder claims that Fluent copied their articles.
Finally today, Matt Young at the Houston Chronicle reports that the Twitter account for the Houston Rockets has been temporarily suspended by Twitter due to repeated copyright violations.
According to the Rockets’ press team, the suspension has to do with copyrighted music appearing in their tweets. The team has said that they are working to resolve the issue but the account remains suspended as of this writing. Prior to its suspension, the account had 2.8 million followers. The suspension comes just two weeks after Houston was eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
Though the Houston Rockets may be the highest-profile suspension other popular sports accounts have met the same fate including the accounts for several sports programs at Iowa State as well as the Twitter accounts for Auburn and Rutgers football.