Copyright Infringement

News & Analysis as of

Copyright Watch: Suit over the NCIS Bert the Far***g Hippo

I can’t even say the word! Don’t worry, I’ll have to eventually. Let’s just say the folks at CBS are likely pretty steamed up over getting hauled into court on a smelly copyright suit involving a noisy character from its...more

Management’s Ignorance Is Not a Defense to Copyright Infringement Claims

One of the most common reactions to an initial software audit letter is that management had no knowledge of any potential violations, that the IT personnel behavior violated corporate policy, and that management did not...more

Supreme Court Decision Threatens Internet Television, But There Is Hope

When Congress last completely overhauled the Copyright Act in 1976, disco topped the charts, Charlie’s Angels was making its television debut, and fax machines were revolutionizing how people communicated. But it was this...more

When Can You Be Sued For Introducing Copyrighted Works At Trial? Almost Never, But Plaintiffs Keep Trying

Professor Nimmer once identified the “weakest infringement claims of all time” as those involving attempts by copyright holders to prevent their copyrighted work from being used as evidence against them in court. “It seems...more

Law Firms Are Not Body Shops: An Insurer’s Duty to Defend Requires it to Pay Only the Defense Costs the Insured Actually Paid

In the course of discharging their coverage obligations, insurers often benefit from bargains they strike with service providers. Healthcare insurers pay in-network caregivers rates that are dramatically lower than the...more

Agence France Presse v. Morel

Agence France Presse v. Morel - USDC, S.D. New York, August 13, 2014 - District court upholds jury’s award of maximum statutory copyright damages of $1.2 million, plus $20,000 in DMCA damages, finding sufficient...more

Funkadelic Master Sound Recordings Can Be Involuntarily Transferred to a Court-Appointed Receiver to Satisfy Judgment

Hendricks & Lewis PLLC v. Clinton - Addressing the issue of whether a lower court abused its discretion by appointing a receiver and authorizing the sale of master sound recordings to satisfy monetary judgments, the...more

Per Second Circuit: Full Text Searchable Database Is Fair Use

Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. HathiTrust, et al. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming a district court summary judgment ruling in favor of a consortium of authors, ruled that the unauthorized...more

Judge Posner Solves Sherlock Holmes Copyright Case

Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. - The original character of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, along with his sidekick, Dr. John H. Watson, are no longer subject to copyright protection. In an opinion by Judge...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms the Importance of Identifying Protected Elements of Copyrighted Software

Automated Solutions Corporation v. Paragon Data Systems, Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit confirmed that a party claiming infringement of copyrighted computer software must identify those...more

Stop the Music (or Be Vicariously Liable)

Broadcast Music, Inc., et al v. Meadowlake, Ltd. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found a restaurant owner personally liable where the restaurant played recorded and live music without authorization,...more

The Aereo Crashed: Cheap Internet TV Thwarted

American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. - The Supreme Court of the United States has now determined that internet streaming services directly infringe the copyrights of several television networks. American...more

Insensitive – Copyright Implications of Jann Arden’s Stand

Twitter began to light up on August 7, 2014 when Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden (@jannarden) began to object, via a series of tweets, to the practice of Calgary radio station 90.3 AMP of playing shortened versions of...more

Highlights of Congressional Hearings on Copyright Remedies: Statutory Damages, Small Claims and Felonious Streaming

On July 24, 2014, the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, through its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held hearings on the subject of copyright remedies. Most of...more

The C-word and IP Rights

No, not that c-word. The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights involves a plethora of c-words: copying, counterfeit, copyright, cease-and-desist, CIPO (the Canadian IP Office). But the one I am...more

Judge Posner, I Presume

Over the past several months, Judge Posner and the Seventh Circuit has handed a couple of rare, but well-deserved wins to the public domain. On June 16, 2014, the Court issued an opinion holding that the primary characters...more

Raging Bull Decision Riles Hollywood, Thrills Plaintiffs

In June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision affecting copyright claims and defenses. The copyrighted work at issue was the popular motion picture Raging Bull, in which Robert DeNiro plays famous boxing champion Jake...more

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Co. - USDC, N.D. California, July 30, 2014

Wilson v. The Walt Disney Co. - USDC, N.D. California, July 30, 2014: Identifying numerous similarities, the court allowed the plaintiff filmmaker to pursue a claim that Disney’s teaser trailer for Frozen infringed on...more

Hallmark Recovers $47 Million for Theft of Greeting Card Market Research, Eighth Circuit Says Ok

A fascinating, salacious trade secrets case out of the Western District of Missouri and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Business Litigation Report -- July 2014

In This Issue: - Main Article: ..The Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Differences from the Common Law and from State to State - Noted With Interest: ..Enforceability of Settlement Terms in California...more

House Judiciary Subcommittee Continued its Review of Intellectual Property Law with Hearings on Copyright Infringement Remedies,...

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet recently held hearings targeted at further exploring intellectual property laws and policy. On July 24, the Subcommittee held...more

Aereo and Napster: Lessons in Licensing

As is increasingly reported, there is a battle raging in today’s marketplace between companies with new technology platforms and content creators from the entertainment community. On the one hand, are computer science...more

Amendments to the PRC Copyright Law ....the practical implications for rights owners

On June 6, 2014, the fourth draft version of the new PRC Copyright Law (New Law) was published for public comment, having first been published in 2010. The period for public comment ended on July 5, 2014 meaning the...more

CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. FilmOn.com, Inc.

CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. FilmOn.com, Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y., July 24, 2014: District court issues second contempt finding against unauthorized content redistributor FilmOn.com, finding that FilmOn.com violated...more

Copyright Infringement

I. INTRODUCTION A. Scope. This paper addresses practical aspects of a typical copyright infringement case, a deceptively simple subject. Plaintiff introduces its copyright registration, proves defendant copied...more

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