More copyright infringement


Good morning,

New week, new IP news. Halloween is over, Christmas is coming.

Taylor Swift and Shake it Off, back at it

If you remember, Swift had to deal with a copyright claim that was filed against her song “Shake It Off”. Apparently, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler considered that Swift had copies a phrase from their 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play”. According to them, the combination of the terms “playas” and “haters” was completely original and unique. The lower court, at the time, dismissed the claim considering that this short phrase did not meet the creativity and originality threshold require for copyright protection.

The claimant then appealed, and now the court of appeal established that the lower court might have been too swift in dismissing the case. Apparently, the lower court based its decision on the legal filings alone, without giving the part an opportunity to go to trial and develop the facts. The case will now have to go through appeal. Let’s see if Swift can shake it off again.

Pirate Bay investigation closed

2014 was the year of the raid that was able to enable The Pirate Bay (TPB) website for two month. A lot of evidence was gathered in this huge anti-piracy case, but unfortunately time ran out and the initial investigation  had to be shut down due to the expiration of the statute of limitation. Swedish authorities were unable to “serve” the principal suspect of the case, Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. Although this operation resulted in the closure of the main TPB domain name, the pirate sailed onto a new domain and resumed its activities, peacefully and undisturbed.

Twitter transparency report

It is actually very interesting reading Twitter’s report, especially (for us) regarding copyright notices received by this platform. The report indicates that the number of take down notices has double over the course of a six month period. Interestingly enough, half of this notices (around 45%) do not actually result in any content being taken down as they are either incomplete, fraudulent or not actionable. As a result of an increase of fraudulent take down notices, counternotices also increased drastically as informed user are not ready to give away their twits. What are your thoughts? Was this trend expected? Maybe as the importance of digital platform increase and effective mechanisms are available to users, it is normal to see such an upward trend. See you in six month Twitter!

Katy Perry’s copyright infringement

3 years ago, Katy Perry decided to dress as Hillary Clinton for Halloween, disguise that was captured or immortalized by a paparazzi. Perry uploaded said photo to her Instagram without permission from the author… and this has resulted three years later in a copyright claim filed by the photographer. Apparently, the agency contacted the singer a few times since 2017, without receiving any response from her or from her representatives. This is not the first time this happens. Indeed, this happened to Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Khloé Kardashian and many other artists that had to learn the hard way that although they are the one being photographed they need a license from the author in order to be able to use said photos on their social platforms… Celebrities beware.

 And this is all for this week. See you next week for more news!