Copyright Infringement

News & Analysis as of

Eggleston v. Daniels - USDC, E.D. Michigan, August 16, 2016

District court refused to dismiss infringement claims alleging creators of TV show “Empire” copied Cookie Lyon character from plaintiff’s memoir, concluding, among other things, that stories with female, African-American...more

All That Glitters is Not Gold For Led Zeppelin’s Claim For Attorneys’ Fees

Legendary rockers Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are probably still flying high over their defense verdict earlier this summer in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial. They may be slightly coming down, though,...more

Points & Authorities - Summer 2016

There Ought to be a Law: Consider This Alternative To Litigation - Government is becoming more intrusive. At the state and federal levels, a host of agencies and departments continuously create new rules for us to live...more

Did You Search Your Jurors’ Social Media? There Are Rules

If you represented a large corporation or a wealthy individual, wouldn’t you want to know if your prospective jurors were campaigning for Bernie Sanders on Facebook? Or how about criminal prosecutors who might want to know if...more

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

District court rejects music publisher’s request for nearly $800,000 in attorney’s fees and costs as prevailing party in copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven,” concluding lawsuit alleging infringement...more

Gossip Cop Gets Cuffed For Copyright Infringement

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that Gossip Cop, a website that rates celebrity gossip on a scale of “real” to “rumor,” infringed the copyrights in three photographs of famous...more

Dancing Baby Waltzes Up to The Biggest Dance Floor in the Land

It’s not every day that SCOTUS is asked to review a case involving a video of a dancing baby. But that’s what happened late last week when the lawyers for Stephanie Lenz asked the Court to review the 9th Circuit’s decision...more

The Supreme Court Clarifies Standard For Attorney Fee Awards In Copyright Cases

Copyright infringement litigation has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in the Central District of California, with the apparel industry feeling the brunt of this uptick. In a typical case, a plaintiff alleges...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: Wine, Vodka and a Little Karaoke

Copyright Opinions - Eleventh Circuit Seeks Florida High Court's Guidance on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings: Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., No. 15-13100 (11th Cir. June 29, 2016) - Anderson, J. In a suit...more

Ed Sheeran Gears up to “Get it On” in Another Copyright Lawsuit

English pop musician Ed Sheeran once again finds himself in the crosshairs of a high-profile copyright infringement lawsuit, this time in the Southern District of New York over alleged similarities between his smash hit...more

Solid Oak Sketches LLC v. 2K Games Inc. - USDC, S.D. New York, August 2, 2016

In copyright dispute over depictions of NBA players’ tattoos in “NBA 2K” video game series, district court dismisses tattoo licensing company’s claim for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees because copyrighted tattoo...more

LinkedIn Has Beef With Data Scraping Bots

Linkedin has filed a lawsuit to prevent unauthorized use of “bots” that register fake profiles on the social network and steal data about actual users. According to the suit, these acts constitute a breach of Linkedin’s terms...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - August 2016

Supreme Court Abolished Federal Circuit's Test for Willfulness - On June 13, 2016, in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 579 U.S. ___ (2016), the Supreme Court unanimously abrogated the Federal Circuit’s...more

Someone Copied My Company’s Website Without Permission — What Can I Do About It?

You encounter a website that looks very similar to your company’s website. The similarities make clear that your website was copied. Even worse, it was copied by a competitor. Whether you hired a professional to...more

Commercializing User-Generated Content: Five Risk Reduction Strategies

We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in how companies interact with user-generated content (UGC). For years, companies were happy simply to host UGC on their websites, blogs and social media pages and reap the resulting...more

Second Circuit Revives Copyright Claims Against Sony and Ghostface Killah

In Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., 15-1778, the Second Circuit recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, holding that although third parties may raise a work for hire defense, here there were factual...more

A House of Cards: How Much Copyright Protection Remains for Architectural Works

Although copyright protection in the United States was extended to architectural works in 1990, this protection has become increasingly narrow. A recently issued Eleventh Circuit opinion, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Inc. v. Jewel...more

Silas v. Home Box Office, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, July 26, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement claim against creators of HBO’s television show “Ballers,” finding no substantial similarity between HBO’s show about retired football player who advises current players on...more

DMCA Safe Harbor Protection Includes Pre-1972 Recordings

Vacating a district court’s decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit explained that the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects material posted on websites of online hosts...more

Newt v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, July 27, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement claim against creators of Fox’s television show “Empire,” finding no substantial similarity between Fox’s show about struggle for control of music company and plaintiff’s...more

Kirtsaeng II: Fees in Copyright Cases Depend on Reasonableness of Litigation Position

Under 17 USC § 505, a “court may . . . award a reasonable attorney’s fee to the prevailing party.” However, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, 17 USC § 505, the...more

Three Point Shot - Summer 2016

800-Meter Champion Berian Eventually Outpaces Nike Endorsement Suit... Or Did He? World 800-meter champion Boris Berian is seemingly capable of out-running just about anything these days. Berian is just a year removed...more

“Gossip Cop” Held To Willfully Infringe Copyrighted Photos

In BWP Media USA v. Gossip Cop Media, a case sure to bring cheer to paparazzi and tabloid publishers everywhere, a judge in the Southern District of New York has found after a bench trial that a gossip website willfully...more

Supreme Court to Clarify Test for Copyright Protection of Useful Articles

On May 2, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to resolve a multi-circuit split over “the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is...more

Getty Images Sued for Allegedly Seeking Licensing Fees for Photographs Available for Free Public Use

Getty Images, a well-known stock photo agency used by many news and publishing outlets, has been sued in the Southern District of New York for allegedly seeking licensing fees from individuals and corporations for the use of...more

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