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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that two Instagram users have filed a lawsuit against the photo sharing company and its parent company Facebook alleging that Instagram’s embed feature misleads third parties into thinking they don’t need to license photos for use on their websites.
The new lawsuit comes after a flurry of cases involving news agencies that embedded Instagram photos without permission. Those cases, though eventually settled, have produced somewhat split rulings with one judge ruling in favor of the photographer and another in favor of the news agency, though that decision was revisited. Both cases were settled and a third is ongoing.
The new lawsuit aims to become a class action lawsuit to include any Instagram users Since July 1, 2013. The lawsuit also complains that Instagram is able to track third-party embeds, but users are not. This makes it difficult for users to track potential infringements and act against them.
Next up today, Josh Russell at Courthouse News Service reports that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals appears to be unlikely to revive a lawsuit against the show Billions after a judge expressed skepticism about the claims of the plaintiff.
The lawsuit was filed by life coach Denise Shull who authored the book Market Mind Games. According to her, the TV series ripped off elements from her work and philosophy after she met with the show’s creators before the series began.
However, one of the Circuit Judges pointed out that many of the issues that Shull is suing over were generic elements of psychoanalysis, even asking “does Freud’s estate get to sue?” The panel of three judges reserved their opinion and will release it later.
Finally today, Hayley Fowler at The News & Observer reports that a judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by author and teacher Kevin Wooten saying that there is simply not enough specific similarity between his book and the TV show Outer Banks.
The lawsuit was filed by Kevin Wooten, who claimed that the show used material from his 2016 book Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure! However, the judge found that the two works had significantly different plots and other elements. He also found that the similarities they do share are too abstract and would result in every treasure hunt work becoming an infringement.
According to the judge, the similarities between the two works were either abstract ones common to every work in in the genre or stretches, such as comparing a pet to a central character. It is unclear if Wooten plans on filing an appeal.