Intellectual Property Art, Entertainment & Sports

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A New Lenz: Google Weighs In on Fair Use

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a liability “safe harbor” for online service providers that post content that may be protected by copyright. It facilitates the takedown of an infringing work by providing a...more

Hawking a New Mascot

The big mascot news over the past year has been in the NFL, as Washington fights to maintain its registrations for the REDSKINS mark. As that dispute continues, the University of North Dakota tried to put to rest its...more

Down Stream from Aereo: FilmOn Pulled by Different Legal Currents

Last year in American Broad. Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Supreme Court dealt a significant victory to the broadcast industry when it concluded that Aereo’s online streaming services infringed the broadcasters’ copyrighted...more

Braham v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing - USDC, Central District of California, November 10, 2015

In copyright infringement suit targeting Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off,” magistrate judge recommends dismissal of pro se plaintiff’s claim, finding plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that Swift’s repeating phrases...more

YouTube to Take a Stand for Fair Use

As we have written elsewhere on this blog, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that copyright owners must consider fair use before submitting takedown requests to internet service providers under the Digital...more

Reality Check: Fantasy Sports Sites Facing Serious New Challenges

Fantasy sports, especially Daily fantasy sports (“DFS”), are big business in the United States. Two DFS sites in particular, FanDuel and DraftKings, are the most dominant players in this industry (they control 95% of the DFS...more

A Purr-fect Opinion on Copyright Registrations

Order Granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Epikhin et al. v. Game Insight N.A., et al., 5:14-cv-4383 (Judge Lucy Koh) - Cat videos are one of the most popular types of user-uploaded Internet videos. It is...more

Google Books and Fair Use: From Implausible to Inevitable?

A for-profit corporation scans millions of in-copyright books and permanently stores their full contents in its database, all without seeking permission or paying the books’ authors or publishers. Over ten years ago, when...more

Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl”: a Derivative Work with a Co-Author

On January 1, 2016, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Joseph Goebbels’ diaries will both enter the public domain in most of Europe, where the term of protection ends 70 years after the death of a work’s author. One of the Nazi’s...more

The Give and Take of the 2015 Library of Congress Sec. 1201 Copyright Exemptions

I used to love working on cars. As a teenager I had a 1972 Karmann Ghia, which I could repair, MacGyver-like, with rubber bands, tinfoil, and sticks of chewing gum. But as automotive technology advanced, the prospect of...more

DMCA Loosening the Reins for Education

You may know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) from the widely deployed DMCA take-down notices that copyright owners use to remove putatively infringing content from the Internet. Enacted in 1998, the DMCA is...more

Santa Claus Will Leave The Building In 2016 — Author’s Heirs Prevail Over EMI

In Baldwin, et al. v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was tasked with determining when and how the rights to the song “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (the “Song”) would properly terminate. The...more

Authorship Credit for Scholarly and Creative Works: The Elusive American Attribution Right

What if were to tell you that I jointly authored this article with a colleague, but that I’m not going to give her any credit or attribution because I don’t feel like it? Can she sue me for copyright infringement? No, because...more

Google’s Effort to Digitize Millions of Books is Fair Use

In a recent decision handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the court found that Google’s scanning of copyrighted books as part of its Library Project amounted to “fair use” and did not...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II

On October 20, 2015, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Round II of United States v. David Nosal. Both sides generally stuck with arguments from their briefs, with Nosal’s counsel arguing that...more

Advertising Law - November 2015

Fantasy Sports Has a New Teammate: Nevada Gaming Commission - Nevada's Gaming Control Board announced that fantasy sports will be regulated like other forms of gambling, and ordered operators to halt operation in the...more

Holy Copyright Batman; the Batmobile Still Protected by Copyright Despite “Costume Changes” - DC Comics v. Mark Towle dba Garage...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recognizing that Batman’s personal crime-fighting vehicle, the Batmobile, is not just a cool car, but a character with “physical as well as conceptual qualities,” concluded...more

With the Ninth Circuit’s O’Bannon Decision, The NCAA Must Comply With Antitrust Laws

Last year, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., Ed O’Bannon, a former All-American UCLA basketball player, along with nineteen others, filed an antitrust class action suit against the National...more

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google,...more

Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Issuing DMCA Takedown Notification - Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders must consider the fair-use doctrine prior to issuing a takedown notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Lenz v. Universal...more

Keeling v. Hars - USCA, Second Circuit, October 30, 2015

Second Circuit affirms denial of summary judgment on defendant’s counterclaim seeking declaration that plaintiff’s theatrical script parodying 1991 motion picture “Point Break” was not entitled to copyright...more

Orwellian Enforcement of Orwellian Copyright?

George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 would describe this situation as “doubleplusungood.” Josh Hadley, an internet radio host and a self-described “harsh film critic with no sense of subtlety or tact,” recently met the ire...more

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more


In appealing the cancellation of six trademarks, the Washington Redskins filed their opening brief in the Fourth Circuit this week. Cancellation of the team’s REDSKINS trademarks was upheld by a federal district court in...more

Establishing the Boundaries of the OCILLA Safe Harbor

As user-generated content explodes over the Internet, intellectual property disputes over posting or uploading such content without the owner’s consent continue to escalate. As we touched on in a recent post, social media...more

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