3 Count: Pirate Sentencing

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1: Miramax Wins Lawsuit Over ‘Pulp Fiction’ Movie Poster

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Miramax has emerged victorious in a lawsuit filed by the photographer of the iconic Pulp Fiction movie poster.

Photographer Firooz Zahedi filed the lawsuit alleging that he took the photo of Uma Thurman in April 1994 but that Miramax has gone on to use it in various merchandise ever since. Zahedi claimed that he was still the copyright holder in the image as he argued he never signed away the exclusive rights to it. Miramax, for their part, was unable to find the work for hire agreement they said Zahedi signed.

However, his delay in bringing the case ended up being its downfall. In a 2015 Instagram post, Zahedi acknowledged that Miramax was claiming ownership over the image, but did not file a lawsuit in the three years following it. As such, the judge felt that the statute of limitations had run out on the case, and thus Miramax was granted summary judgment.

2: Pirate TV Software Dev Jailed For 2.5 Years For Fraud & Copyright Offenses

Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that a UK man, Stephen Millington, has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for fraud and copyright-related offenses over his part in running the Supremacy Kodi add-on that provided illegal streams to users.

Millington was arrested in the summer of 2019 over allegations that he was the creator of the add-on in question. Now, two years later, he has pleaded guilty to the charges against him and has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for his activities.

Police and rightsholders have celebrated the sentencing, calling it a deterrence to those that might attempt to follow in his footsteps. However, they promised to remain vigilant and pursue more such investigations moving forward.

3: Former EMI Boss Says Kevin Brennan MP’s Proposed Copyright Reforms Will “Obliterate” the Label Investment Model

Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that a new bill in the UK is being celebrated by local musicians even as it is being equally derided by the record labels.

The bill, proposed by MP Kevin Brennan, would require performers to receive a certain percentage of streaming royalties, grant artists a right to renegotiation their agreements and revoke rights assigned after a period of time. The move is responding to many artists concerns that labels were taking too large of a percentage of streaming royalties.

However, the record labels, most notably EMI, have come out against the bill saying that it would “obliterate” the model of labels investing in new artists by severely limiting the profits they could reap from the acts that become successful.

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