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A former Philadelphia police officer has sued claiming she was defamed in a documentary about rapper Meek Mill’s high-profile clashes with the city’s legal system. Ex-police officer Sequeta Williams filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging she was defamed in an episode of Free Meek, the documentary series that was made available on Amazon Prime last year. The complaint lists Amazon, Jay-Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation, rapper Meek Mill (a/k/a Robert Rihmeek Williams) and Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media as defendants. Williams v. Williams, 2:2020cv00122 (E.D.Pa.).
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By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
For the past five years, the copyright bar and the music industry have carefully followed the many twists and turns of the potentially monumental infringement case that asserted that the opening of the iconic Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven” was copied from the introduction of a little-known 1967 instrumental “Taurus,” written by the late Randy California. In March 2020, a unanimous en banc panel of the entire Ninth Circuit affirmed portions of a prior three-judge appellate ruling that “Stairway” did not infringe the Spirit song — and in the process resolved some thorny issues involving substantial similarity and copyright scope that will be important for future litigants
By Scott Graham
Defendants Led Zeppelin and its music labels were the winners in the copyright decision by the Ninth Circuit over the song “Stairway to Heaven.” But the estate of songwriter Randy Wolfe (p/k/a California) wasn’t the only one who got the short end. Among the collateral damage from the ruling was a 2002 precedent written by former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski that endorsed the so-called “inverse-ratio” rule.
By Ryan W. Morris
The Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act is a proposed congressional amendment to the current copyright statute that would create an alternative dispute resolution program for copyright small claims and other legal proceedings.
By Andrea Perez
Recent lawsuits have grappled with the fair use of one’s likeness in video games, attempting to apply established order to a changing field.