Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against an author in his battle against Texas A&M University, ruling that he cannot sue the school for copyright infringement but may be able to sue the school under the state’s constitution.
The case involves author Michael Bynum, who sued the school for alleged copyright infringement when the school’s athletic department published and shared a story he commissioned about the schools “12th Man” mantra. According to Bynum, the school made heavy use of the story, without attribution or permission, resulting in a copyright infringement.
However, since the school is technically a part of the state of Texas, that raises the issue of sovereign immunity, which means that a state cannot be sued in a federal court. Since copyright is purely a matter of federal law, this raises the question of if and how schools and other state institutions can be sued for copyright infringement. The 5th Circuit, in a unanimous panel decision, ruled that the school cannot be, though it may be liable under the state’s constitution.
Next up today, Blabbermouth reports that the band Nickelback has hit back at a lawsuit filed against them by Texas musician Kirk Johnston, simply saying that the two songs at issue sound nothing alike.
The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year by Johnston, alleges that the 2005 Nickelback hit Rockstar is an infringement of his 2001 song Rock Star. He sued the band as well as others connected with the Nickelack song and the album it appeared on.
However, now the band has filed a response to the lawsuit and is making a simple argument: That the two songs sound nothing alike and that any similarities are not protectable by copyright law.
Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that two Netflix movie screeners have appeared on pirate websites despite the films not yet being released to the public.
The films, The Power of the Dog and The Guilty are now available on pirate sites after what appears to be film festival screeners have leaked online. The Power of the Dog is scheduled to be released on Netflix on December 1st and The Guilty was scheduled to debut in early October.
Though it is unknown how the films were leaked, both are in the screener line up for the Vancouver International Film Festival, which is currently ongoing.