Art, Entertainment & Sports Intellectual Property

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The Google Books Case – Here’s the Skinny

I’m sure many of us have fond memories of the venerable library card catalog: the musty smell, the tiny wooden drawers and their endless deck of equally tiny, yellowed cards on which someone laboriously typed the Dewey...more

Tarantino’s “Hateful” Revenge: Director Pursues Copyright Claim Over Hyperlink To Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino probably wasn’t offended when the Hollywood gossip website Defamer, owned by Gawker Media LLC, compared him to a petulant child and accused him of throwing a “temper tantrum.” After all, the colorful...more

California Federal Court Finds that the First Amendment Does Not Preclude Sporting Event Participants from Asserting...

On April 11, 2014, a California federal court issued a First Amendment ruling that has potentially significant implications for broadcasters in the sports-media industry. Specifically, the Northern District of California’s...more

The ITC Has Jurisdiction Over Digital File Transmissions Under Section 337

On April 3, 2014, the U.S. International Trade Commission has issued a notice in Certain Digital Models, Digital Data, and Treatment Plans for Use in Making Incremental Dental Positioning Adjustment Appliances, the Appliances...more

Risks Of Tribute Advertisements Are Focus Of Seventh Circuit Decision

Think the First Amendment protects your business from liability for running an ad congratulating a celebrity or other public figure? Better think again. ...more

In Da (Trade Secrets Theft) Club: $15 Million Judgment Against Rapper 50 Cent

The rapper known as “50 Cent” stole trade secrets to the tune of $15 million, an arbitrator found. A filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida earlier this month disclosed the final award...more

Ninth Circuit Hearing on California Resale Royalties

Readers will recall that in 2012 the U.S. District Court struck down the California Resale Royalties Act, holding that the 1970s-era law violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution....more

Football rights guidelines approved by Agcom!

Further to the preliminary inquiry carried out by the Italian Communication Authority (Agcom) with operators holding a direct interest in the sale of media rights for the Italian football seasons (as discussed here),...more

Peter Mayer Publishers Inc. v. Shilovskaya

Peter Mayer Publishers Inc. v. Shilovskaya - USDC (S.D.N.Y.), March 31, 2014: District court holds that eBook version of translated Russian novel is not a new derivative work under the Copyright...more

Psihoyos v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Psihoyos v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. - USCA Second Circuit, April 4, 2014: Second Circuit adopts “discovery rule” for accrual of copyright infringement claims, affirms dismissal of infringement claims with respect to...more

Antennas, Broadcasting, and Copyright: The Supreme Court’s Review of ABC v. Aereo

US law provides copyright owners with a bundle of rights to protect their original works, including the exclusive right to publicly perform the copyrighted work. The question of what constitutes a public performance has...more

Capturing Tiger Woods at The Masters

My second favorite golf major, The Masters, starts tomorrow in Augusta, Georgia. And as much as I dislike its history of racism, misogyny, and banning an announcer because he used the terms “bikini-waxed” and “body bags”...more

Breaches of confidentiality must be the real deal – Wade v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd [2014] EWHC 634

Despite the industry maxim “where there’s a hit, there’s a writ” and the numerous plagiarism allegations made in the TV business, it is well known in the copyright world that the English courts have refused to recognise a...more

Applause Can Come with a Big Price Tag - Michael Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc.

Paying tribute to celebrity can sometimes be an expensive proposition. A Chicago grocery store chain found this out the hard way when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit handed down its decision in Michael...more

U.S. Copyright Office Calls For Public Comment on Music Licensing

As part of a concerted effort to assess the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music, the US Copyright Office has published a request in the Federal Register for public comment on a number of copyright issues....more

Advertising Law

SPECIAL FOCUS: Supreme Court Adopts Broad Standing Test for False Advertising Plaintiffs - On March 25th, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion regarding the test for standing in false advertising cases...more

It’s a Mouse World After All

Deadmau5 (\’ded-mau's\; a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is a popular house music artist who performs wearing a mouse-like head covering called the mau5head. On Twitter he calls himself an “Event Driven Marketing specialist,” so I...more

Duffey v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Duffey v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC S.D.N.Y., March 27, 2014 - District court dismisses false endorsement and breach of contract suit brought by actor in film Office Space, finding that actor had...more

Five Tips for Film Distributors and Other Licensees

The United States Copyright Act does not discriminate between two or more joint infringers, even if one infringer is found to be more “blameworthy”. As a result, distributors of copyrighted works must take special care to...more

How Many Pieces Of Flair Do You Have? Obtaining Merchandising Rights From Actors

A recent decision from the US federal courts offers a timely reminder of the importance for producers of specifically spelling out that they are obtaining “merchandising” rights from all actors performing in their film or TV...more

Optioning Film Or TV Rights In A Book – A Checklist

As Torontonians know, we are in the midst of a mayoral election campaign; in all the excitement surrounding the candidate debates, it may have slipped into the rearview mirror that last month it was announced that the film...more

Google Ordered to Remove All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube After Actress With Bit Part Threatened by Outraged Muslims;...

An aspiring actress moves to California and finds her life threatened. While standard fare for pulp fiction, the case of Garcia v. Google involves a twist on this well-worn plot line that not even the most imaginative...more

Copyright Office to Study Music Licensing

The United States Copyright Office has announced the initiation of a study of the effectiveness of existing methods of music licensing. Three types of licenses were mentioned in the announcement: (1) compulsory licenses for...more

ALIS – A Legal Guide For Writers

The good folks at Nova Scotia’s Artists’ Legal Information Society (ALIS) have published their free Legal Guide for Writers, a solid plain-English resource which will prove useful both for authors and their lawyers. Published...more

Social Media Fan Accounts: Honoring a Celebrity’s Brand or a Trademark Violation?

Social media has become a powerful marketing tool, allowing celebrities to develop their brands and images with the help of Facebook updates or Tweets that can reach millions of fans at the same time. Given the importance of...more

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