Copyright Infringement

News & Analysis as of

Down Stream from Aereo: FilmOn Pulled by Different Legal Currents

Last year in American Broad. Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Supreme Court dealt a significant victory to the broadcast industry when it concluded that Aereo’s online streaming services infringed the broadcasters’ copyrighted...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

Fox News LLC v. TVEyes, Inc.—Does the Courts’ Expansion of Fair Use Copyright Protection Promote the “Progress of Science and...

In 2014, when District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York upheld TVEyes, Inc.’s (“TVEyes”) monitoring service as “fair use” in the face of a copyright infringement claim brought by Fox New...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

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

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

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

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

Establishing the Boundaries of the OCILLA Safe Harbor

As user-generated content explodes over the Internet, intellectual property disputes over posting or uploading such content without the owner’s consent continue to escalate. As we touched on in a recent post, social media...more

Parody Writers Take Note: Fair Use Parody + New Elements = Copyright Protection

On October 30, 2015 the Second Circuit held that an unauthorized parody that makes “fair use” of its source material is eligible for copyright protection and that copyright protection may extend to a work that exhibits the...more

Holy Smokes Batman! The Batmobile Won Copyright Protection

On September 23, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion that will cause comic book fans and car aficionados to take notice. In  DC Comics v. Mark Towle, the court held that the production and sale of replica Batmobiles...more

Court Provides Fair Use Guidance On YouTuber’s Use of Viral Video

This copyright case pitted two big YouTube content brands against each other over issues of fair use. On one side is Equals Three, LLC, a YouTube content studio and channel created and owned by Ray William Johnson, an early...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

Fahmy v. Jay Z - USDC, C.D. California, October 21, 2015

District court grants defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that songwriter’s heir did not have standing to sue for copyright infringement because he had conveyed all his economic rights (copyright) to the...more

The Devil (and the Copyright) is in the Details

Would-be filmmakers often see the ghostly reflection of their own work in allegedly infringing films that actually get made. With many such copyright claims, the devil is – figuratively – in the details, but in the recent...more

Stretching Copyright Law Too Far: A Sequence of Yoga Poses Are Not Copyrightable

A recent case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the federal appellate court for Arizona and California, has made a predictable determination that a sequence of yoga moves cannot be protected as...more

The Final Chapter: Resolution of the Google Books Litigation

On Oct. 16, 2015, the 2nd Circuit issued an opinion that has finally closed the chapter on the Google Books saga. In Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., the court held that the Google Books project is fair use rather than a...more


Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit ruled the “Tomaydo-Tomahhdo Recipe Book” was not creative enough to warrant a copyright. The case started when Rosemarie Carroll (and related companies) sued her ex-partner, Larry Moore...more

Yoga and the Copyright Idea/Expression Dichotomy

Over the last half century there has been an explosion in the popularity of yoga in the United States, much of it attributable to Bikram Choudhury, the self-proclaimed “Yogi to the Stars.” In 1979, he published a book titled...more

Big Pimpin' gets big win in copyright case

Greenberg Glusker partner Glen Rothstein was quoted in “Big Pimpin' gets big win in copyright case” (Daily Journal, October 22, 2015). In the closely watched Fahmy v. Jay Z., complex issues of international copyright,...more

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