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Who Owns Ellen DeGeneres’ Now-Famous Academy Awards “Selfie”?

In 2012, law professor Justin Hughes published an article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology that raised serious questions about how courts have analyzed the Copyright Act’s originality requirement as it applies to...more

3/12/2014 - Copyright Ellen DeGeneres Photographs Twitter

Federal Judge Declares Sherlock Holmes Characters in Public Domain. Sort of.

Comedian Dmitri Martin has a great joke about the expression “sort of.” Although normally a fairly meaningless expression, saying “sort of” after certain things suddenly becomes very important. Such as after the phrase “I...more

1/10/2014 - Copyright Incremental Expression Rule Public Domain Sherlock Holmes

U.S. Supreme Court Leaves Important Fair Use Ruling Undisturbed

More than a century ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes warned that it would be dangerous for people trained only in the law to decide the worth of a work of art—at least outside of the narrowest and most obvious limits. As...more

11/15/2013 - Copyright Fair Use SCOTUS

Requiem for a Ridiculous Lawsuit

Last month, I wrote about some notable examples of film and television producers being sued or threatened for using other peoples’ creations without permission. Examples included Emerson Electric suing NBC after Claire from...more

7/25/2013 - Brand Copyright Copyright Infringement Entertainment Industry Frivolous Lawsuits

Happy Birthday…You’re Being Sued!

Have you ever noticed how people rarely sing “Happy Birthday to You” in movies and television? Instead, people usually sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” even though no one actually sings that song in real life. ...more

6/20/2013 - Copyright Fair Use Infringement Motion Picture Industry Music Public Domain Television Programming Trademarks Useful Article

Leggo My Likeness, Part Four

There are so many fun things you can do with celebrities. In addition to the traditional things like writing books about them, you can also use their catchphrases to make greeting cards; make movies about them using puppets;...more

5/29/2013 - Copyright First Amendment Football Misappropriation NCAA Transformativeness Video Games

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