A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.
News & Analysis as of

Advertising Law - November 2015 #4

Sharing Is Caring? New Report Documents Apps Sharing User Data at High Rates - A new report has revealed that Apple and Android apps share information with third parties at high rates. Testing 55 of the most popular...more

A Brief History of the Broadcast Reproduction Right

The following is a timeline of broadcast reproduction copyright developments, leading to yesterday’s Supreme Court of Canada decision in CBC v. SODRAC. 1980’s: SODRAC, a copyright collective society managing (largely...more

DOE Seeks Comment on Proposed New Copyright Policy for Grantees

On November 3, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which – if adopted – would require grantees of the Department’s “competitive discretionary grant programs” to provide an...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

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

Strategies for Safeguarding Your Brand in the Digital Age—Corporate Counsel’s IP Trademark, Copyright & Licensing Counsel Forum

This two-day event did a great job of covering the array of issues that companies navigate related to trademark and domain name protection and enforcement, focusing on some of the unique challenges presented by the growing...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

ITC Has No Jurisdiction to Block Infringing “Electronic Transmissions”

On November 10, a panel of the Federal Circuit reversed a landmark ITC decision blocking the importation of digital information that infringes a patent. This decision has potential ramifications for a wide-range of companies...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

New DMCA Exemption Keeps Enthusiasts in the Game

Due to efforts by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Library of Congress adopted in its recent guidelines a limited exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allowing gamers and preservationists to...more

Unflattering Photo—A Blogger’s Paradise? - Raanan Katz v. Irina Chevaldina

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant based on an assertion of fair use of an unflattering, candid headshot photograph of plaintiff....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

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

Insurance Recovery Law - November 2015

Despite Prior Suits, Policyholder Entitled to Coverage for DOJ Investigation - Why it matters: A policyholder was entitled to coverage for a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation despite already facing possibly...more

If It's Worth It, You Should Work It (As a Work Made for Hire)

With the growth of mobile apps, non-tech companies face the challenge of creating apps to promote and sell their services or goods. Because the creation of an app can be a one-time project, hiring an independent software...more

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