3 Count: Union Battle

Jason comes in to testify...

3 Count Logo

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1: ‘Friday the 13th’ Writer Ridicules Notion That Winning Back Rights Means WGA’s Demise

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the battle between Friday the 13th screenwriter, Victor Miller, and the film’s producers has taken a turn into discussing the role of unions in the business.

Miller is attempting to use copyright termination to reclaim the rights to his original work. The law allows him to do so after 35 years but the producers have been fighting that bid saying that the script was a work-made-for-hire and, thus, doesn’t qualify for copyright termination. A Connecticut judge rejected this argument back in September prompting an appeal to the Second Circuit.

According to the producers, Miller was a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), a writers’ union whose contract makes it clear that the screenplay was written as an employee, not an independent contractor. However, Miller argues that independent contractor status is the norm for writers in the movie business and has been since the 1950s. Further, he argues that there’s nothing stopping unions for fighting for improved conditions for independent contractors and that position taken by the studio isn’t supported by the facts.

2: China’s Weibo Takes Down Instagram-Like App After Logo Plagiarism Spat

Next up today, Retuers reports that the Chinese microblogging site Weibo has taken down a new Instagram-like app after users noticed similarities between its icon and one designed by South Korean studio for the Ulju Mountain Film Festival.

Weibo launched the new app, Oasis, on Monday and it aimed to be an Instagram clone much the way Weibo is similar to Twitter. Instagram is blocked in China so the app quickly became one of the most popular in the country, rising to the top of the local app store charts.

However, a user of Weibo noticed the similarity between the App’s logo and the 2015 one and the app has since been pulled. Weibo hopes to relaunch it “soon” but, in the meantime, has apologized to the original creators and thanked the user that pointed it out.

3: Facebook Blocks Sharing of Links to Prominent Pirate Sites

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that Facebook is now blocking links to several major pirate websites though The Pirate Bay is not one of them at this time.

Recent changes in the site makes it so that links to various sites including YTS and LimeTorrents cannot be shared on the service. Users who attempt to share the links are instead given an error message that alerts them that the link goes against Facebook’s “Community Standards”.

Though it is not known how many sites are caught in the block, one major omission is The Pirate Bay. The site was previously blocked due to violations of Facebook’s terms of service but was un-banned some time ago. Even after this recent move, users are still free to share Pirate Bay links.

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