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As Eddy Grant Sues Trump on Electric Ave Neil Young Drops Rocking In the Free World Suit

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 7 –   For unauthorized use in an anti-Biden tweet of Eddy Grant's song "Electric Avenue," Donald Trump and his campaign have been sued for copyright violation.  

On December 4, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a pre-motion conference. Inner City Press covered and live tweeted it, thread here and below, followed by a bit of copyright / Digital Millennium Copyright Act analysis.

On December 7, this update: Neil Young dropped his copyright lawsuit against Trump for using "Rockin' in the Free World." "NOTICE OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff(s) and or their counsel(s), hereby give notice that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice and without costs against the defendant(s) Donald J. Trump For President, Inc.. Document filed by All Plaintiffs." We'll have more on this.

The Trump campaign lawyer says he wants to move to dismiss without discovery, calls it political, non commercial use. 

Judge Koeltl asks Grant's lawyer: Do you want to amend your compalint?  Grant's lawyer: No.  Showdown.

 Judge Koeltlt: OK, let's set the date for response to the motion to dismiss, and for the reply. How about Dec 21 for the response?

 Lawyer asks for Dec 28.  Judge Koeltl says, You're making it hard for yourself, but sure. Ken Caruso for Trump and campaign to reply Jan 11.

  [While monitoring UN noon briefing Inner City Press is banned from by corrupt SG  @AntonioGuterres , here's from Eddy Grant's complaint:]

"On August 12, 2020 at or about 9:35 p.m., Mr. Trump published a tweet containing a 55 second video (the “Infringing Video”)...

 The Infringing Video appears to be an endorsement of Mr. Trump’s 2020 Presidential re-election campaign [&]  is also clearly an attempt to denigrate the Democratic Party’s2020 presidential nominee, Former Vice President Joseph Biden.
 ... contains a visual depiction of a high-speed red train bearing the words “Trump Pence KAG 2020” in stark contrast to a slow moving handcar bearing the words “Biden President: Your Hair Smells Terrific” [re-casting an old ad]

 As of the date of the filing of this Complaint, neither the Infringing Video nor the Tweet containing the Infringing Video has been removed from Twitter. Defendants have failed &/or refused to comply with Plaintiffs’ demands set forth in the Aug13, 2020 letter." 

 While Inner City Press will cover the opposition and reply, and ultimate decision, there have been other fair use cases against the Trump campaign.

In this case, the defense argument is that "the use is not simply a remake or a recreation of the Song and does not serve the same intrinsic entertainment value that is protected by Plaintiffs’ copyrights."

Nickelback took a different approaching, using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get Twitter to take down a tweet that included Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, saying “LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH!” along with a video that included part of Nickelback’s music video for the 2005 song “Photograph.”  

 Inner City Press' experience with misuse of the DMCA is a UN Reuters reporter, now Human Rights Watch UN rep Louis Charbonneau, getting Google to remove from Search a leaked copy of his email lobbying Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric to oust Inner City Press from the UN - on the argument that a leaked email is copyrighted, a truly negative precedent for investigative journalism.

We'll have more on this.

This case is Grant et al. v. Trump et al., 20-cv-7103 (Koeltl)


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