Copyright Infringement

Bill Withers sues Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is being sued for copyright infringement over Bill Withers song

 

In what’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence, a popular musician is being sued for allegedly stealing another, older artist’s song. The Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar was sued Thursday for using a “direct and complete” copy of Bill Withers’ 1975 song “Don’t You Want to Stay” for his 2009 hit “I Do This.” The company that says it owns the 77-year-old singer’s 1975 song “Don’t You Want To Stay” claims that Kendrick Lamar ripped off the track for his own song, 2009’s “I Do This.” “I Do This” was distributed on a free mixtape by Lamar back in 2009. Can you be sued when you didn’t profit off of the music? The copyright infringement suit, filed in a federal court in Los Angeles, claims Lamar rapped over a “direct and complete copy” of Withers’ music. Mattie Music Group stated in the legal documents that Lamar’s track “consists of nothing more than new rap and hip hop lyrics set to the existing music of ‘Don’t You Want To Stay.’” They are pursuing damages and want Lamar to stop playing his song.

Filed by Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music, the complaint said Lamar sampled the music “with a thumb to the nose, catch me if you can attitude.”

Listen to the songs here and judge for yourself.

Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising considering in 2014, Lamar was also sued by Eric Woolfson and his group, The Alan Parsons Project, who believed he had improperly sampled their song “Old and Wise” without consent on the track “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain),” which appeared on Kendrick’s Section.80 project.

This time it looks more serious though. Golden Withers Music and Musidex Music are seeking unspecified damages, and the suit was filed in the same court that awarded Marvin Gaye’s family more than $7 million for the “Blurred Lines” trial in March 2015.

That same court will also decide if  Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” copied Spirit’s “Taurus.”

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Judge Allows the Lost Boys of Sudan to Pursue Copyright Against ‘The Good Lie’ Film Producers

 

Incredible in scope and rife with inherent drama, it is little surprise that Hollywood sought to make a film based on lives of the estimated 20,000 boys and girls who fled Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War during the early 2000s.

The Lost Boys of Sudan’s journey encompassed thousands of miles and thousands of dangers — enduring disease, escaping wild animal attacks and evading forced recruitment into the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army.

While The Good Lie, a 2014 drama starring Reese Witherspoon that was based on their story, didn’t have much box office success, it is becoming grounds for an intriguing legal battle swirling around authorship and rights.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May will allow The Lost Boys to continue their copyright and fraud claims lawsuit, originally filed in February 2015. Fifty-four of the displaced Sudanese people living in Atlanta filed lawsuits against Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment and other producers on the film for breaching their initial contract terms for compensation and joint authorship.

The plaintiffs state in the lawsuit that they, “partnered with Defendants to create The Good Lie’s script, in part, based upon their promise that a non-profit foundation organized and run by the refugees would be the sole beneficiary of any fundraising efforts associated with The Good Lie.  However, neither the refugees nor their Foundation have been compensated in any fashion for sharing their traumatic personal stories and assisting with the creation of the script for The Good Lie.”

According to the lawsuit, the Lost Boys met with film producer Bobby Newmyer and screenwriter Margaret Nagle in 2003 to conduct recorded interviews to provide facts, background, and stories for the eventual screenplay. In her decision, U.S District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled that the Lost Boys have enough facts to support findings of copyright infringement and a possible future injunction.

“The Interviews, however, did not consist merely of  ‘ideas, facts and opinion made during a conversation,’ like the interviews by journalists in the cases Defendants cite,” Judge May states. “Rather, the Interviews were a creative process designed to create material for a screenplay and film. All that an ‘original work’ must possess is ‘some minimal degree of creativity’ … even a slight amount will suffice. Plaintiffs’ telling of their personal stories in response to questions designed to elicit material to create a fictional script for a feature film likely includes enough creativity to render the Interviews an original work of authorship.”

Judge May concludes, “Plaintiffs have stated a cognizable claim for protection against continuing infringement by Defendants that, if proven, warrants entry of a permanent injunction.”

It’s not an uncommon practice in “based on true events” movies for screenwriters to conduct interviews to mine facts and incorporate them into the screenplay.  It’s also not uncommon for writers to move things around, create composite characters and other events, which is why the term “based on true events” exists.  When these types of films come out, there’s always the question of how much is true, what role the subject plays and how much input they have in the story.

If The Lost Boys of Sudan get a favorable verdict, this changes the game on how contributions from the subject influence authorship and original work on “fact-based” films.

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David Lowery Sues Spotify for Copyright Infringement, possible $150 Million

David Lowery is an advocate for musicians’ rights. He is suing over copyright violations.Spotify has been sued for copyright infringement in a case that accuses it of failing to properly license songwriting rights in the United States. The suit highlights an escalating fight over the complex system of royalties for online music.

David Lowery, the leader of the rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, and an outspoken advocate for musicians’ rights in the digital age, filed the suit on Monday in federal court in California. It contends that the company makes many songs available on its service without properly securing — or paying for — “mechanical rights,” which date back to the era of piano rolls but are still a major kind of music copyright.

Mechanical rights refer to a copyright holder’s control over the ability to reproduce a musical work. Mr. Lowery’s suit contends that Spotify copies and distributes versions of his songs on its service, which streams music to some 75 million people around the world, 20 million of whom pay for monthly subscriptions.

In his suit, filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles, Mr. Lowery applied for class-action status, arguing that Spotify has failed to handle the mechanical licensing for a huge but unspecified number of songs by many songwriters. Citing statutory damages for copyright infringement, which range from $750 to $30,000 — or $150,000 for each instance of willful infringement — Mr. Lowery’s suit says that Spotify could be liable for up to $150 million.

“We are committed to paying songwriters and publishers every penny,” Jonathan Prince, a spokesman for Spotify, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, especially in the United States, the data necessary to confirm the appropriate rights holders is often missing, wrong or incomplete.”

As streaming has grown, the songwriting rights — which are handled separately from those of recordings — have become more valuable and their licensing increasingly contested. Songwriters like Mr. Lowery often complain of low royalty rates or of not being paid at all, while online outlets and music publishers alike say that incomplete or conflicting data often hampers proper accounting.

In October, Spotify removed from its service thousands of songs from Victory Records, an independent punk and metal label, after the label’s publishing arm complained that Spotify was not paying for millions of streams. Spotify said it did not have enough data to resolve the issue, but Victory and Audiam, a company that administers its royalties, disputed this, saying they had provided data with years’ worth of information.

Victory’s songs were quietly restored to Spotify a few weeks later, but the issue has continued to simmer. The National Music Publishers’ Association estimates that 25 percent of the activity on interactive streaming services like Spotify is not properly “matched” to the right data to let songwriters and their publishers get paid.

Last week, Spotify announced that it would create a “comprehensive publishing administration system” to fix the problem of faulty royalty information.

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South Australian Government moves to make ‘revenge porn’ a crime

South Australia proposed revenge porn laws

DISTRIBUTING nude images of an ex-partner without their consent could soon be a crime under a State Government proposal.

Attorney-General John Rau has released draft laws which would criminalize “revenge porn” — the distribution of intimate and pornographic images without consent.

Mr Rau said the proposed laws would also address concerns about the potential for young people who “sext” — sending or receiving sexually explicit images — being listed on the Child Sex Offender Register.

Under the proposal, prosecutors and courts would be given added “flexibility” to consider the context of a young person’s behavior when deciding whether they should be listed on the Register.

The push to ban revenge pornography followed a recent in which intimate images of more than 400 Adelaide women were published on a US website.

Under the government’s proposal, – currently out for consultation – a person who threatens to distribute an invasive image or intends to “arouse a fear” that the threat would be carried out would be guilty of an offense, carrying a maximum penalty of $10,000 or two years jail, if the image was of a minor, or $5000 or 12 months jail if the image depicted an adult.

It would also increase the penalty for distributing an image of a minor to a maximum fine of$20,000 or four years jail, singling it out as an offense worthy of harsher penalty.

Mr Rau said what might start out as a bit of fun between two people may end up causing great distress and ruining lives.

“Young people in particular need to understand that if they take a naked selfie and share it with one person — that image might be shared with hundreds, possibly thousands of other people,” Mr Rau said.

“These images can all-too-often be used as a means of bullying and harassment, as once an image enters cyberspace, it is there forever.”

Mr Rau said while no minor had been listed on the Child Sex Offenders Register for a sexting related offense, there was potential for it to occur and that needed to be addressed.

“Whilst there will still be cases where a young person may be properly charged with an offense relating to child exploitation material, these new laws ensure there is flexibility for prosecutors and courts to consider the context of the behavior,” he said.

“This is something that the late Bob Such was a strong advocate for and I am pleased the government will be able to progress this issue when Parliament resumes in the new year.”

A discussion paper will be released in the new year.

The draft laws can be accessed online.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-government-moves-to-make-revenge-porn-a-crime/news-story/1b98fd867079f2369979667110888a74… Read the rest

‘Revenge porn’ victim seeks new laws in Kansas, Missouri – KSNT (press release) (registration) (blog)

Revenge porn victim seeks new laws in Kansas and Missouri
Alecia Clemmons’ world changed after someone posted online naked pictures that her former husband had taken, along with her name and address.

The Kansas City-area woman had to move, get a new job and endure a torrent of abusive and sexually suggestive emails and messages.

Clemmons was “absolutely astounded,” to discover that what happened to her — called “revenge porn” — is not illegal in Kansas or Missouri, The Kansas City Star reported.

It’s illegal in both states to photograph people without their knowledge or to use compromising pictures for blackmail, but it is not illegal to make public pictures taken during an intimate relationship, even without the consent of the person pictured.

The single mother of two sons said that after she recovered from the initial humiliation, she decided to advocate for change. Clemmons testified last year in favor of bills in Kansas and Missouri that would criminalize “revenge porn,” but neither measure made it out of committee.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a Republican from Overland Park, Kansas, who introduced a revenge porn bill, said laws need to catch up with cellphone technology. She also said that some legislators still have an attitude that people who share those types of pictures deserve whatever they get.

Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican from Farmington, proposed a similar bill in Missouri.

“It destroys lives,” he said. “It needs to be addressed.”

Clemmons said her life was turned upside down, having to endure aggressive emails and messages from “every scumbag in the world.”

“It was awful,” she said. “They said such grotesque things.”

She has met many other victims and started a Facebook group, “End Revenge Pornography Missouri & Kansas,” to educate the public. She said she is especially concerned after hearing stories of teenagers who committed suicide after they discovered their pictures were online.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia currently have revenge porn laws.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/kansas/article42064185.html… Read the rest

SoundCloud Sued For Copyright Infringement

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Streaming music service SoundCloud is being sued for copyright infringement. The Performing Rights Society for Music, a U.K. songwriters licensing group, has taken the company to court, charging that SoundCloud is not properly compensating its members for licensing fees owed for streaming their works on the service.

“After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud,” Karen Buse, PRS executive director for membership and international, announced in an email to members. PRS represents more than 111,000 songwriters and publishers. Read the rest of the story…

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/80456/20150831/soundcloud-sued-for-copyright-infringement.htm

 [wp_ad_camp_1] … Read the rest

500 Adelaide women fall victim to US ‘revenge porn’ site

Almost 500 Adelaide women and teenagers have fallen victim to a US website which has shared nude, risqué and revealing photos of them without their permission.

It’s believed the photos used on the site were being displayed and offered for download without permission.

The website allows users to view photos of ‘Adelaide chicks’ in various states of undress.

removal from the myex.com website

News Corp reports the victims were told ‘you cannot do anything to stop us’ by site users and the moderators say they are exempt from South Australian law because they are based in the United States.

The women whose photos were used on the site, claim their images were stolen from private social media accounts or shared as ‘revenge porn’ by former partners.

The photos began appearing on the website earlier this year after a user started a call out thread on a message board requesting to trade his photos with others.

Less than a month later the user declared they more than 500 images and were seeking more.

“It’s really been me doing 90 per cent of the work collecting new content, organizing folders, killing duplicates, merging archives,” the user wrote.

“This has been my latest project … I didn’t take all the pics myself or anything but I did go through every single thread and save nearly every image myself.”

The victims became aware of the site and its existence through Facebook and other social media and have since demanded for it to be taken down.

The users have ignored their plea.

Police have issued a warning to women to think of the long-term effects of uploading images to the Internet and texting nude photos.

A police spokesman told News Corp the long-term effects of an uploaded image or text can have long-term psychological effects on both the sender and those receiving.

“The social ramifications for students involved in these matters can cause embarrassment both now and into the future,” the spokesman said.

“This can also cause further damage to reputation when applying for employment.”

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/28473656/500-adelaide-women-fall-victim-to-us-revenge-porn-site/Read the rest

Forget being a victim. What to do when revenge porn strikes – CNET

The Internet is a terrible place sometimes, but thankfully there are now organizations that can help people who become victims.

When illicit photos of Anisha Vora began showing up online, she didn’t know what to do. She contacted Facebook, Twitter and other companies hoping they’d do the right thing and take the photos down. But soon, there were too many places for her to deal with on her own.

What happened to Vora happens to all sorts of people. Students, college graduates and professionals. People have lost their jobs because photos were published online without their consent. Most of the victims are women, though not all.

As the threat of revenge porn has grown, companies, organizations and even lawyers have sprung up to help victims.

Figure out the size and scope of the problem

The moment your photos begin circulating online, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’ve been violated, and suddenly your name, phone number, address and naked images are being published on sites around the Web.

If someone posted these images to Facebook, Twitter or another reputable site, it’s relatively easy to report the images and begin the process of asking the sites to take them down. Read More…

http://www.cnet.com/news/forget-being-a-victim-what-to-do-when-revenge-porn-strikes/

 

What happens when you report a post to Facebook. Mark Hobbs / CNET Read the rest