News & Analysis as of

Copyright Litigation

Mark Ronson Sued For Infringing 80’s Funk “Masterpiece”

by Brooks Pierce on

On September 12, 2017, the publisher of the legendary song “More Bounce to the Ounce” filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against music producer Mark Ronson. The suit alleges that Ronson’s hit song “Uptown Funk,” which has...more

Monkey See, Monkey Do… Monkey Own? The Curious Case of Naruto v. Slater

by Hogan Lovells on

When wildlife photographer David Slater set up his camera in the rainforests of Indonesia, he hardly expected to ignite a copyright battle with a monkey. Nonetheless, the legal dispute between Slater and Naruto, a crested...more

Joy in Who-Ville? Playwright Wins Fair Use Copyright Dispute in Parody of “Grinch”

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

It’s not quite what Dr. Seuss envisioned: Kind-hearted and cheerful Cindy-Lou Who from the childhood classic “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” becomes a cynical adult who was thrown in prison after murdering her abusive...more

Ninth Circuit: Non-Exclusive Licensing Agent Has No Standing to Sue for Copyright Infringement

by Snell & Wilmer on

In DRK Photo v. McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that an Arizona stock photo agency could not sue McGraw-Hill under the Copyright Act for using images in textbooks without permission. The...more

Christmas Comes Early for “Useful Article” Copyright Holder

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Denying Motion and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, Jetmax Ltd. v. Big Lots, Inc. et al., 15-cv-9597 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2017) (Judge Katherine Forrest) Tricky questions can arise when a person or company attempts...more

The Broad Umbrella Covering Joint Authors Also Protects Collaborators

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision from the federal court of the Southern District of New York serves as a reminder of the broad rights enjoyed by a joint author under the Copyright Act, including the right to create and license derivative...more

Red Wings vs Right Wings: Copyright Tarnishment and Other Lessons

by Revision Legal on

We wrote recently about our outrage at white nationalists modifying and using the Detroit Red Wing’s famous “winged wheel” logo. Our outrage continues and we take a closer look at the potential lawsuit that might be in order....more

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Divergent Extraterritorial Application of Lanham Act and Copyright Act

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

The question whether and under what circumstances the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act will be applied to conduct occurring at least partially outside the United States grows increasingly important as the world economy...more

Court Rejects Infringement Claim Against Alan Jackson

by Brooks Pierce on

On October 27, 2016, North Carolina songwriter Timothy Arnett sued the legendary country star Alan Jackson in the Eastern District of North Carolina for alleged copyright infringement. Arnett claimed that Jackson’s song...more

“Thinking Out Loud” About Copyright Infringement (Again)

by Brooks Pierce on

Ed Sheeran has had plenty of court troubles recently. After reportedly reaching a settlement over his song “Photograph” earlier this year, he was recently sued (a second time) for his song “Thinking Out Loud.”...more

Did U2’s Bono And The Edge Copy Their Song The Fly From Another Artist?

This is the question being presented in a lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York against the iconic band U2 and a majority of its band mates. Paul David Hewson (more well known as lead singer Bono), David...more

U2 Seeks Dismissal of “The Fly” Infringement Suit

by Brooks Pierce on

Earlier this year, a songwriter sued the members of U2, claiming that the U2 song, “The Fly” from the 1991 album “Achtung Baby,” infringed the songwriter’s 1989 song “Nae Slappin.” The plaintiff songwriter, Paul Rose,...more

Jewelry Company Sues Macy’s for Copyright Infringement

by Reed Smith on

California-based jewelry company Brighton Collectibles LLC (“Brighton”) filed suit against Macy’s Inc. (“Macy’s”) for copyright infringement. According to the complaint, Brighton alleges that Macy’s infringed copyrighted...more

Does This Selfie Make Me Look Like a Copyright Infringer?

by Lewitt Hackman on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider a copyright infringement suit brought by a primate – specifically, Naruto, an Indonesian crested macaque that supposedly made fantastic use of his opposable thumbs and took a...more

CJEU: Operation of Peer-to-Peer Sharing Platform May Qualify as Copyright Infringement

by Reed Smith on

In a preliminary judgment of 14 June 2017, Case C-610/15, the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) held that the making available and management of a peer-to-peer sharing platform may constitute a copyright...more

Food Network’s Holiday Treat Sours Amidst Copyright Infringement Suit

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Food Network is snowed in controversy after popular food blogger, baker and CSO (“Chief Sugar Officer”) of the recipe site SugarHero.com Elizabeth LaBau filed for copyright infringement this month alleging the network...more

Resistance is Futile: Axanar Productions settles with CBS and Paramount to end copyright infringement suit over fan film

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Axanar will finally beam down to YouTube after CBS and Paramount Pictures (“Paramount”) reached a settlement with Axanar Productions to end all ongoing litigation regarding the Star Trek fan film....more

P. Diddy on Instagram – No Free Pass on Copyright Law

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

As Biggie said “Mo Money Mo Problems” – Last month, a New York-based photojournalist filed suit again Diddy’s record label, Bad Boy Records, for posting a photo of none other than P. Diddy himself on his own Instagram...more

The Supreme Court Rolled Back Patent Venue — What Will Happen Now for Copyright?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Supreme Court recently sounded the death knell for patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas, overruling the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) and dramatically reducing forum shopping in...more

Media Law Bulletin: To Sample or Not to Sample?

by Sedgwick LLP on

Conflict is brewing among the United States Courts of Appeals as to when a musical artist’s use of a sample from another artist’s musical work is non-infringing. Three key opinions analyzing this issue were decided by the...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Split Court Decisions on Registration Precondition for Copyright Suits

Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act generally requires copyright registration, or a refusal of registration, before a copyright action may be filed. This has led to a variety of decisions from the Circuit and District Courts...more

The Artist Formerly Known As…Warhol

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Lynn Goldsmith is a professional photographer who rose to fame in the 1970’s for her portrait photography, especially for her work with musicians and other entertainers. Her work has appeared on over 100 album covers....more

Got Registration? You Better if You’re Filing a Copyright Case in the 11th Circuit

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act provides, in pertinent part, that “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright...more

Disney Seeks To Cage “Zootopia” Copyright Infringement Suit

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Walt Disney Company claims there was no monkey business in creating the Oscar-winning animation film Zootopia and has moved to dismiss writer Gary L. Goldman’s lawsuit for copyright infringement. Goldman, an author whose...more

Copyright Infringement on a Website: the Risks of Scraping and Framing

by Field Law on

If photos are available on the internet, then… they’re free for the taking, right? Wait, that’s not how copyright law works? In the world of copyright, each original image theoretically has an “author” who created the...more

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