3 Count: Burning Out

Putting out the fire...

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1: Universal Music Defeats Legal Claims Over Destroyed Recordings in Fire

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has thrown out several claims by Tom Petty’s ex-wife, Jane Petty, over the 2008 Universal backlot fire that destroyed many original recordings by artists signed to Universal Music Group (UMG).

The lawsuit followed a 2019 article in the New York Times about the backlot fire. UMG had largely kept the fire secret and, when artists found out that many of their master recordings were possibly destroyed, they filed a class-action lawsuit seeking damages both for the destruction of the recordings and for a share of the insurance payouts.

However, the judge in the case has tossed out Petty’s arguments along those lines saying that an insurance payout is not a “license” of the track and, thus, not covered under Tom Petty’s agreement. Similarly, the judge said that the fact Petty might have had a future copyright interest in the work does not reflect a bailment. The judge did grant Petty standing to sue, finding that she both had a proper interest and that the lawsuit was filed timely, but then turned around and denied the claims at the hand. Petty is able to refile as the claims were dismissed without prejudice.

2: Federal Lawsuit Seeks $15 Million from State Ed Department for Software Copyright Infringement

Next up today, Margaret Reist at the Lincoln Journal-Star reports that eScholar, a New York-based software company, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Nebraska Department of Education over allegations that the department used eScholar’s software when designing their similar tool.

The state contracted with eScholar, which provided student data collection software, between 2004 and November 2019. However, after the contract ended, the state moved to a system that it developed, the ADVISER Dashboard, which eScholar says is based heavily on their work.

According to the lawsuit, this amounts to a breach of contract with them as well as a violation of their copyrights. As such, eScholar is seeking some $15 million in damages and an injunction barring the implementation of the new system.

3: The Pirate Bay’s Main Domain ‘Returns’ After a Month of Downtime

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that The Pirate Bay has “returned” to its original domain after several weeks of downtime.

The site went down on its .org domain several weeks ago even though it remained online on mirror domains as well as through the TOR network. Several DNS changes stoked speculation about the future of the site but it has reemerged and on its old content delivery network provider, Cloudflare.

Extended downtimes have been very common for the site in recent years with this outage simply being the most recent. The admins had said that they would take advantage of the downtime to update some of the site’s code and there are at least some visible changes as they have removed the blog and about page of the sites among other, smaller changes.

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