Copyright in the news this week

Here’s a round-up of copyright-related news for this week.

Pepe the Frog enters the copyright wars

The creator of the now-infamous cartoon character Pepe the Frog, has filed a lawsuit in California against Infowars, a conspiracy theorist website. The site shop is selling a “Make America Great Again” poster that features the frog alongside Donald Trump, site owner Alex Jones and others.

Pepe the Frog was created in 2005 for a comic strip, but rose to prominence some years later as a symbol of the alt-right movement.

Its creator, Matt Furie, says in the lawsuit that he did not approve the use of his character in this way.

Read more…

The Canadian Government wants its money back

The education departments of most of Canada’s provinces are suing one of the country’s collecting societies in an attempt to recoup some of the money they paid for the rights to access creative materials used in classrooms, according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Recent Canadian copyright laws extended the concept of fair use, and now the education departments say that as a result of that they have overpaid for licensing rights.

Who owns the copyright of something produced with software?

A special effects company thought they did and were taking some big HOllywood studios to court over it. That bold bit of the case was dismissed, according to Hollywood Reporter. The studios’ lawyers argued successfully that if that was the case, then authors who used Microsoft Word or artists who used Adobe Photoshop wouldn’t be the owners of their own works.
The lawsuit continues over trademark and patent infringements.

….and finally

Almost, but not quite, a copyright dispute. What happens if two photographers take the same picture, from the same spot, at the same time?
It happened this week in New Hampshire, according to Boing Boing and other sources.