3 Count: Suing the King

King litigation?

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1: Analyzing the Copyright Lawsuit Against LeBron James

First off today, Michael McCann at Sports Illustrated reports that photographer Steve Mitchell has filed a lawsuit against NBA star LeBron James over James’ use of a cropped photo Mitchell took on his social media profile.

The photo, which featured James performing a particularly authoritative dunk, appeared on James’ social media back in December 2019. It was slightly cropped to focus more on James’ dunk but, otherwise, was unaltered. This prompted Mitchell to enlist the services of controversial attorney Richard Liebowitz, who has a lengthy history of suing on behalf of photographers when their images are used in a commercial setting, to file the lawsuit.

With the current court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unlikely that the courts will take the case for some time. In the meantime, expect both sides to work toward a settlement in the case.

2: Nintendo Shuts Down Kickstarter Campaign For Violating Animal Crossing Copyrights

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Nintendo has shut down has shuttered a Kickstarter campaign that aimed to bring Animal Crossing-themed passport holders and luggage tags to the masses.

The campaign, which had raised about £34,000 ($40,000) shortly before its closure, used artwork and trademarks from the popular Animal Crossing games to create a new travel kit for fans. However, Nintendo filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice with Kickstarter to get the campaign removed.

The move comes shortly after Nintendo filed a similar notice with Sony to get user-created versions of the character Mario removed from the game Dreams.

3: Lizzo Fires Back Against “Opportunistic and Legally Bankrupt” Claims of Her Former Collaborators in Truth Hurts Copyright Dispute

Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Lizzo has hit back in the lawsuit over her hit song Truth Hurts. In filing a motion to dismiss she calls the argument that the song was a work of joint authorship “opportunistic and legally bankrupt” and seeks to have much of the case tossed.

The lawsuit was filed against Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen and Yves Rothman by Lizzo after the trio posted allegations that they had a claim to the song. In those allegations, they claimed that they worked with Lizzo to create an unreleased track named Healthy. That track included the line, “I did a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch,” a line that was later used in Truth Hurts. According to the plaintiffs, that line is a crucial part of Truth Hurts and entitles them to a co-author share or, alternatively, that Truth Hurts is a derivative work of Healthy.

Lizzo, in her latest filing, is restating that, according to her, the trio had nothing to do with the line in question. However, she goes on to argue that, even if they did, that does not entitle them to a co-authorship credit on Truth Hurts as the alleged co-authorship of a previous work does not make them co-authors of a newer one based in part on it. As such, she is asking the court to dismiss any claims of co-authorship in Truth Hurts.

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

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