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Update on Goldieblox and Lenore Zann

Posted by Matt on December 17, 2013         Tagged with: music, copyright, internet

Today, updates on things I have already blogged about:

Remember Goldieblox, the toy company that used a parody of the Beastie Boys' song "Girls" in an ad without permission, and then later relented and removed the song from the ad? I bet you thought that was the end of things. So did I. But we were wrong. See, before their change of heart, Goldieblox went to a court and started a lawsuit asking the court to determine that their use of the song was fair use and thus not an infringement of the Beastie Boys' copyright. They never dismissed that lawsuit, and now the Beastie Boys have filed a countersuit alleging copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation of the right of publicity. So it looks like we might get a judicial determination as to whether Goldieblox's use of Girls was fair use after all. This has been reported all over the place, but I'm going to link to this Techdirt article because they followed Matt's Golden Rule of Reporting On Legal Stuff: always include the actual legal documents or a link to them.

Second, Lenore Zann, the actress-turned-politician who claimed she was cyber-bullied on Twitter after someone posted a screencap of her topless on the TV show The L Word has dropped her cyberbullying complaint and deleted her Twitter account. Contrary to Ms Zann's claims, cyberbullying is not a criminal offense and she never indicated she was considering a civil case, so it's unlikely this incident was ever headed to court. But eventually a judge is going to have to consider the question of whether the Cyber-Safety Act is an unjustifiable infringement on Nova Scotian's constitutionally protected freedom of expression. And I don't think fans of the Act will be very happy with how that goes.