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Medina v. Dash Films Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, July 14, 2016

District court dismisses trademark infringement action against Kanye West and others, finding that defendants’ film series title “Loisaidas” is protected by First Amendment because it has artistic relevance, title is not...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

These are Not the Trade Secrets You’re Looking For: Star Wars Model Maker Sues Ex-Employees for Misappropriation

In a tale of alleged betrayal and misappropriation of trade secrets in a courtroom (not) far, far away, a pioneering company in the area of special effects has sued its former employees and a vendor, claiming that they...more

Is Music Sampling Back En Vogue?

The mere mention of Madonna conjures many images and associations: feminism, reinvention, Kabbala, the cone bra, and her many memorable performances. But today we have yet another thing to associate with the Material Girl: an...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Examiner.com Sails to Victory in DMCA Safe Harbor

Addressing whether the owner of a media website could invoke the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

The Sweet Sounds Of Victory: Vimeo Llc Wins Appeal In Music Copyright Infringement Case

On June 16, 2016 Vimeo LLC heared the sweet sounds of victory as it won its appeal in a music copyright infringement case (Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC ) filed in 2009, that centered on the Digital Millennium Copyright...more

Campaign IP Violations Part 3 – Huckabee’s Campaign Pays Up

In December, we told you about Mike Huckabee’s campaign getting sued for copyright infringement for using “Eye of the Tiger” without permission at a rally supporting Kim Davis, the Tennessee clerk that refused to issue...more

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to...more

EA Sports won’t be beaten at its own game – Escaping potential liability through successful § 101 motion to dismiss

It has been a long-standing business practice in the video game industry to update sports video game parameters to reflect real-world developments. Who would want to play NBA Live 95 if it didn’t incorporate Michael Jordan’s...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, June 9, 2016

District court awards defendants $400,000 in legal fees in copyright infringement suit over Shakira’s hit song “Loca,” in which plaintiff’s claims were shown to be based on fabricated evidence. In 2012, Mayimba Music...more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

Led Zeppelin Legends Smack Down “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Suit

This morning in a Los Angeles federal court, a unanimous jury exonerated British rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant—two members of the storied Led Zeppelin rock band—from claims of copyright infringement over the iconic...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Discretionary Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified how courts should exercise their discretion to award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in copyright cases. The Court unanimously held that courts should give...more

Copyright Flash Report: Attorneys' Fees and Pre-1972 Safe Harbor

Objective Reasonableness Must Receive “Substantial Weight” in Copyright Attorney-Fee Shifting Decisions:Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375 (U.S. June 16, 2016) - Kagan, J. In a unanimous decision, the...more

The Importance of Being Earnest and Objectively Reasonable

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. continues to make controlling copyright law, visiting the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time on an issue of great importance to copyright owners and litigants. This time, the issued...more

Second Circuit Reinforces the Scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Safe Harbor Provision

In Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, the Second Circuit issued a decision clarifying the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor provision, which protects certain Internet service providers from liability for...more

Sheeren-nuff: Another Copyright Infringement Suit

English pop musician Ed Sheeran has been sued for copyright infringement in the Central District of California over his recent hit song “Photograph,” which peaked at number ten on Billboard’s “The Hot 100” chart. The two...more

Intellectual Property Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375, that it is appropriate for a court to give substantial weight to the reasonableness of a losing party’s position when...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Award of Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an important decision regarding when the prevailing party in a copyright lawsuit is entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and costs. The Copyright Act provides that “the...more

VMG Salsoul LLC v. Ciccone - USCA, Ninth Circuit, June 2, 2016

Ninth Circuit breaks from Sixth Circuit in music copyright infringement case over a 0.23-second horn segment in Madonna’s pop hit “Vogue,” holding that de minimis copying exception applies to copyrighted sound...more

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