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Protecting Fashion through Copyrights: The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Cheer Uniform Designs Are Protectable

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will address the issue whether apparel can be protected by copyright law—a question described by the petitioners in the case as “the single most vexing, unresolved question...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Ruling on Meaning of “User” in DMCA §512(c) Safe Harbor

Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) offers safe harbors for qualifying service providers to limit their liability for claims of copyright infringement. To benefit from the Section 512(c) safe harbor, a...more

The Ink Isn’t Dry

What rights based in copyright law does a tattoo artist have in a tattoo itself, and to what extent can an artist use those rights to restrict the rights of others, including the people whose skin has been inked?...more

Foundation for the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan v. Alcon Entertainment (N.D. Georgia, March 23, 2016)

Rarely does one think of copyright issues surrounding how research is conducted for feature films that are based on real life events, but 54 Sudanese refugees are forging that new connection between research and copyright in...more

Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin - USDC, C.D. California, April 8, 2016

In copyright infringement action over iconic Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven” filed more than 40 years after song was first released, district court partially denies defendants’ motion for summary judgment, allowing...more

Three Point Shot - March 2016

California Court to PGA Tour Caddies: You'll Get Nothing and Like It! As the full swing of the PGA season rounds the corner, and with the azaleas blooming at Augusta, the trusted confidants of golf's premier players...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

Self-Publishing Platforms Deemed Distributors, Not Publishers in Privacy Suit over Unauthorized Book Cover

We live in a world that has rapidly redefined and blurred the roles of the “creator” of content, as compared to the roles of the “publisher” and “distributor” of such content. A recent case touches on some of the important...more

Playboy Enterprises International Inc. v. Mediatakeout.com LLC - USDC, S.D. N.Y., March 8, 2016

In dispute over Playboy photos of rapper Azealia Banks, district court denies motion to dismiss copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims stemming from website’s unauthorized addition of its own...more

The man who sold the world: Bowie, bonds and IP securitisation

The loss of David Bowie at the start of this year prompted much discussion of his musical legacy, but less well-publicised was his contribution to finance....more

Flechtheim Heirs Suspend Limbach Commission Proceedings Over Juan Gris Painting in Düsseldorf

In a move that is symbolic of the tattered legitimacy of the German Advisory Commission concerning Nazi-looted art in state museums, the heirs of famed and persecuted Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim today suspended the...more

Waiting to File Makes No (50) Cents (Simmons v. Stanberry)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations applies to exclusive licensees thereby precluding a lawsuit against rapper Curtis Jackson, also known as “50...more

Larson v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 10, 2016

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s decision that 2001 letter operated as agreement by heirs of Superman co-creator to transfer to DC Comics rights in Superman, Superboy and Superman advertisements....more

Gilkyson v Disney Enterprises, Inc. - Calif. Appeal Court, 2nd App. District, Div. 7, January 27, 2016

Appellate court finds that claim for breach of contract for contractual royalties brought against Disney by heirs of Terry Gilkyson, songwriter for “The Jungle Book” film, are not time-barred, based on application of...more

Pandora Enters Into License Agreements With ASCAP and BMI

Following the Copyright Royalty Board’s ruling to raise Pandora’s royalty rates, last week Pandora announced new licensing agreements with the country’s two largest performing-rights societies, Broadcast Music Inc. and the...more

Have Yourself a Merry 12 Days of SWIFTMAS

Even amid the December hustle and bustle of the holidays, my mind is never very far from trademark and patent issues – especially when getting Christmas songs stuck in my head while shopping for friends and family. I’m prone...more

Merry Christmas! Rights to “Santa Claus’ Is Comin’ to Town” Return to Songwriter’s - Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.

Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.Addressing issues of copyright ownership and the effectiveness of copyright termination notices, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the district court’s summary...more

Creative Commons Works: Free to License, But Not Necessarily Free to Use

Companies love to use third-party content for free. In this era of belt-tightening and slashed marketing budgets, why pay to create photos and videos for advertising and other commercial uses when compelling photos and videos...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

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

Spooky Songs Done Wrong: Copyright Consequences for Unlicensed Haunted Houses

It’s that time of year: costumes and candy, haunted houses and hayrides. And all those tricks and treats add up to a $7.4 billion commercial industry around the holiday, a figure that exceeds the annual revenue of the...more

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social Media and Intellectual Property Issues

Social media platforms are very useful, but they also create legal issues. Without question, social media has changed the way businesses communicate with their clients and consumers. Likewise, social media has changed the way...more

Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc. - USCA, Second Circuit, October 8, 2015

Second Circuit overturns district court ruling and holds that notice of termination sent to EMI for song “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” successfully terminated 1981 grant of rights because, despite the lack of recordation of...more

Happy Birthday to All

On September 22, 2015, a California district court issued an opinion that may change birthday celebrations forever. In Rupa Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., the court held that Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. does not own a...more

Royalty Allocations for Royalty Pools Must Be Well Reasoned and Based on a Record - Settling Devotional Claimants v. Copyright...

Addressing the reasonableness of the Copyright Royalty Board’s (Board) decision allocating a pool of royalties among several parties for the retransmission of copyrighted material by cable system operators, the U.S. Court of...more

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