3 Count: Tech Support

Google gets some much-needed tech support...

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1: Google Garners Support from Tech Industry in Supreme Court API Copyright Fight

First off today, Campbell Kwan at ZDNet reports that, with the Google-Oracle legal fight heading to the Supreme Court, Google has found support from others in the industry as other tech companies have filed an amicus brief in support of their position.

The lawsuit looks at Google’s implementation of Java in its Android mobile operating system. Google rewrote the language from the ground up but used the same APIs to ensure that Java apps written elsewhere would be compatible. Oracle sued and, so far, an Appeals Court has ruled that APIs are both protectable by copyright and not fair use if copied. This puts Google in jeopardy of significant damages and, according to the brief, may harm broader software interoperability.

The brief, filed by Medium, Cloudera, Reddit and other tech companies asks the Supreme Court to overturn Oracle’s win at the lower court. According to the brief, they do not believe APIs should be protected by copyright and, if they are, they feel their use should be fair use. The case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in March with a ruling expected months later.

2: YouTubers Face £4,600 Bill Over Copyright Claims

Next up today, Tom Gerken at BBC News reports that two YouTubers are facing demands to pay thousands of dollars or risk their channels receiving copyright strikes.

The threats come from the media company Junkin Media, which is a company that represents the rights to various viral videos and licenses them to various media outlets. They are targeting YouTubers MxR and Potastic Panda, which operate a YouTube channel that focuses on reaction videos.

Apparently, in several of those videos, they used clips from Junkin Media and failed to license them. As such, Junkin sent a demand for a license fee of $6,000 for four videos. If they aren’t licensed, Junkin has threatened to file DMCA takedown against the videos, which would result in four copyright strikes and could close the account. The channel involved said that they attempted to ensure every video was not owned by such a company but must have missed these. According to Junkin, this is about ensuring the original creators are given their fair share.

3: Musicologists Come to Katy Perry’s Defense in ‘Dark Horse’ Case: Verdict Is ‘Inhibiting the Work of Songwriters’

Finally today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that some fifteen music experts have filed a brief claiming that the jury in the Katy Perry Dark Horse case both ignored court instructions and wrongly found in the favor of the plaintiff.

The case was filed by Christian rapper Flame, real name Marcus Gray, who claimed that Perry’s song Dark Horse was an infringement of his earlier song Joyful Noise. The case went before a jury, which found in favor of Gray and ordered Perry and others involved in the song to pay $2.78 million in damages and owed royalties.

Perry has since asked the judge to toss the verdict and now some 15 musicologists have filed an amicus brief in support of that. According to the brief, the jury ignored the court’s instructions and, furthermore, there is more evidence of prior works using the same structure, including works from the 18th and 19th centuries.

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