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Demi Lovato Accused of Stealing Song

Parts are 'virtually identical,' lawsuit says

(Newser) - Demi Lovato has been officially accused of stealing a song. The indie duo Sleigh Bells first accused Lovato more than nine months ago of ripping off parts of its 2010 song, "Infinity Guitars," in her "Stars." But now the band has filed a federal complaint about... More »

Farmers Fight for Right to Repair Own Tractors

It all comes down to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act

(Newser) - Farmers in Nebraska, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York are staging something of a mechanical revolt. They're attempting to get legislation passed in their states that would enable them, for the first time since the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to repair their own tractors or get an independent mechanic... More »

Jury: Led Zeppelin Didn't Steal 'Stairway to Heaven' Riff

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are 'grateful' for the decision

(Newser) - Led Zeppelin was found innocent of stealing the opening riff to "Stairway to Heaven"—frankly one of the least scandalous things the band has ever been accused of—Thursday in Los Angeles, the Guardian reports. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were sued by the estate of Randy Wolfe,... More »

There's a Weird Battle Going on Over Klingon

Paramount claims the use of Klingon in a fan film amounts to copyright infringement

(Newser) - Live long and copyright many things. Thus Paramount Pictures hopes to prosper as it wages a legal battle with the makers of popular Kickstarter crowdfunded Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar. Paramount claims the film's use of the fictional language Klingon adds up to copyright infringement; the filmmakers... More »

Judge: It's Possible Part of 'Stairway to Heaven' Is Stolen

A May trial will decide whether Led Zeppelin copied notes from Spirit

(Newser) - A trial is needed to determine if Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" copies its opening notes from a song performed by the rock band Spirit, a federal judge has ruled. US District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled Friday that lawyers for the trustee of late Spirit guitarist Randy... More »

Judge: Monkey Can't Own Copyright to Its Selfies

PETA vows to keep fighting the good fight

(Newser) - A macaque monkey who took now-famous selfie photographs cannot be declared the copyright owner of the photos, a federal judge said. US District Judge William Orrick said Wednesday that "while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no... More »

Lawsuit: Big Bang Theory Stole 'Soft Kitty' Song

Heirs of the alleged author have filed a lawsuit

(Newser) - The heirs to a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a "soft kitty" eight decades ago said in a lawsuit Monday that TV's The Big Bang Theory is violating their copyrights. Edith Newlin's daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright to a... More »

Judge: Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited to US

Case could have major online copyright implications

(Newser) - A New Zealand judge ruled Wednesday that colorful Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal copyright charges. Dotcom's lawyers say they will appeal the decision. Judge Nevin Dawson's ruling came nearly four years after US authorities... More »

Anne Frank's Diary Now Has a Co-Author

The new claim would extend the copyright on the diary for decades

(Newser) - The copyright on The Diary of Anne Frank—set to expire Jan. 1 in most of Europe—has been extended by at least 35 years after the Swiss foundation that holds the copyright claimed Anne's diary actually had a co-author: her father, the New York Times reports. Otto Frank... More »

'Happy Birthday' Is Now Free

Judge rules that Warner never really had the copyright

(Newser) - You can now sing "Happy Birthday" anywhere you like without fear of copyright lawyers pouncing. A federal judge has ruled that Warner/Chappell, which has been making around $2 million a year from "Happy Birthday to You," doesn't have the rights to the song and never did,... More »

'Smoking Gun' Found in 'Happy Birthday' Lawsuit

They're presenting evidence that song is in the public domain, not owned by Warner

(Newser) - In what the New York Times called the "lawsuit of the ages" when it was first filed two years ago, a new development is making the case even juicier with "smoking-gun evidence" that one of the world's most popular songs is in fact in the public domain,... More »

Justin Bieber, Usher Face $10M Copyright Suit Over Song

Judge thinks 'Somebody to Love' is a little familiar

(Newser) - Justin Bieber and Usher might be on the hook for $10 million after being accused of ripping off a song. An appeals court in Virginia today ordered the pair to stand trial over "Somebody to Love." An R&B singer named De Rico claims that he and his... More »

YouTube Yanks Rand Paul Presidential Announcement

He falls foul of copyright-enforcing robots

(Newser) - The official video of Rand Paul's campaign launch has been blocked by YouTube, but not for political reasons: The rally's use of country singer John Rich's "Shuttin’ Detroit Down" was pulled on copyright grounds after apparently being flagged by YouTube's Content ID system, reports Gizmodo... More »

'Blurred Lines' Lawyer Has Long Been a Disrupter

But this case may be Richard Busch's 'most satisfying'

(Newser) - A jury has found that Robin Thicke's inescapable song "Blurred Lines" borrowed a little too heavily from Marvin Gaye —and that ruling may owe a lot to lawyer Richard Busch, who represented Gaye's family, the New York Times reports in a profile of the man who... More »

Jury: Robin Thicke Ripped Off Marvin Gaye

He and Pharrell owe Gaye's kids $7.4M over 'Blurred LInes'

(Newser) - Catchy song, Robin Thicke. But a jury says that Marvin Gaye got there first. Jurors awarded Gaye's kids $7.4 million because they determined that Thicke's "Blurred Lines" stole from Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up," reports the Los Angeles Times . Thicke... More »

Sweden Raids Pirate Bay, Takes Site Down

File-sharing site was targeted during reported data center sweep

(Newser) - The Pirate Bay is down for the count after a raid on one of the file-sharing company's server rooms in Sweden yesterday, Reuters reports. "We had a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm because of a copyright infringement, and yes it was Pirate Bay,"... More »

Microsoft Dumps Widget Sued for 'Massive Infringement'

Company yanks Bing photo-collecting tool

(Newser) - A photo widget on Microsoft's Bing service has led to a lawsuit claiming "massive infringement" on copyright. Microsoft has removed the offending tool, which allowed users to post photos and slideshows onto their websites, Sky News reports. The images, collected via Bing, came from all over the Internet—... More »

Monkeys, Ghosts Can't Hold Copyright: Regulator

Macaque's selfie can't be registered, US office says

(Newser) - The biggest overhaul of American copyright regulations in decades includes some bad news for a photographer whose camera was snatched by a monkey : Only works created by humans can be copyrighted. The US Copyright Office says photos taken by monkeys count as "unprotected intellectual property," Ars Technica finds.... More »

Wikimedia: Monkey Selfie Is Staying Put

It's in public domain because a monkey took it, not a human, say editors

(Newser) - Strangest copyright dispute ever: British photographer David Slater wants Wikimedia Commons to take down photos of a monkey taken with his camera, but the site refuses because a monkey pushed the button. As the Telegraph explains, Slater traveled to Indonesia in 2011 at his own expense to photograph crested black... More »

Bar Owner Fined $21K— Over Karaoke

Her establishment wasn't registered with BMI

(Newser) - A few weeks after some newly-returned vets sang patriotic Toby Keith songs at a Colorado Springs bar's karaoke night in 2012, the bar owner found herself slapped with a $21,000 fine for not having permission to play the songs in her bar. LeShawn Carey registered the Carey-On Saloon... More »

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