Copyright Office

News & Analysis as of

Business Q&A with Jeffrey A. Curran: Copyrights, patents, trademarks need to be afforded protection

Q: Creators, whether businesses or individuals, are often told they need to protect their intellectual property. What's the difference between a copyright, patent and a trademark? A: The idea of a copyright, while...more

Alert: Copyright Office Letter Raises New Questions About FCC Set-Top Box Proceeding

A recent letter by the US Copyright Office has raised questions about the FCC's proposal to adopt new rules intended to open up the market for cable television set-top boxes and what actions the FCC ultimately will take. The...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Can Science be Copyrighted? You Might be Surprised…

Biotechnology. For many, the mere mention of the word stirs up a thought of people in white lab coats working in underground bunkers trying to create superhuman mutant weapons, with beakers of green goo bubbling in the...more

Could a Blockchain-Based Registry Ever Replace the Copyright Office?

Blockchain technology opens up the possibility for a provider to offer an immutable registry of transactions, held on a decentralized network of computers. While financial applications continue to dominate the blockchain...more

US Copyright Office Reports: WIPO Internet Treaties Require No Copyright Act Amendment to Protect Exclusive “Making Available”...

Has the United States lived up to its obligations under the WIPO Internet Treaties to protect the exclusive “making available” right of copyright owners? Some would argue no, and that Congress should amend the U.S....more

Website HTML Is Copyrightable, Even If Look and Feel Is Not

In a notable ruling last month, a California district court ruled that the HTML underlying a custom search results page of an online advertising creation platform is copyrightable. In Advertising FZ-LLC v....more

Pandora Pays To Play the Oldies—Is It Time For Congress To Join The Chorus?

The popular music app company Pandora Media Inc. has opened quite a musical box. It has been in litigation over what are known and loved as the “oldies.” Various record labels such as Capitol Records and Sony Music sued...more

DMCA Exceptions Announced By Librarian of Congress

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) generally prohibits the circumvention of technological measures employed by or on behalf of copyright owners to protect their works (also known as “access controls”). But every...more

Can I get a C-O-P-Y-R-I-G-H-T? Sixth Circuit Holds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable

When are clothing designs sufficiently severable from the utilitarian aspects of the clothing so that the designs can be protected by copyright? That is a question courts have wrestled with for years, and the Sixth Circuit...more

Court Fashions Hybrid Approach to Determining Whether Garment Designs Are Copyrightable - Varsity Brands et al. v. Star Athletica

Addressing for the first time the question of whether “cheerleading uniforms [are] truly cheerleading uniforms without the stripes, chevrons, zigzags, and color blocks” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit answered...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

Delivering Architectural Plans May Create Implied License - Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc.

Where an architectural draftsman left his design firm mid-project and later used partial plans drawn during his employment to complete the project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the ruling that the...more

Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson - USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 31, 2015

Ninth Circuit reverses lower court’s dismissal for lack of standing of action brought by Ray Charles Foundation, finding that Foundation, sole beneficiary of music legend’s estate, had standing to challenge validity of...more

Business Litigation Report - July 2015

Introduction - Issue preclusion is a familiar concept to most practicing attorneys. Under this doctrine, “later courts should honor the first actual decision of a matter that has been actually litigated.” Charles Alan...more

The Case of the Missing Designated Agent: Omitting Subsidiaries From Your DMCA Filing May Be Costly

Many of our fine readers are by now well acquainted with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the late-‘90s era addition to the Copyright Act intended to address an increasingly digital copyright landscape. The DMCA...more

July 2015: Entertainment Litigation Update

How Proposed Changes at the Copyright Office Will Affect the Music Business. In February 2015, the U.S. Copyright Office released “Copyright and the Music Marketplace,” a report that details several recommendations to...more

Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X, LLC - USDC, C.D. California, July 16, 2015

District court holds that Internet television streaming service is eligible for compulsory licenses under § 111 of Copyright Act because it meets requirements of definition of “cable company” and Copyright Act does not...more

Owners of Celebrity Fan Sites Still in the Spotlight for Copyright Liability Without DMCA Safe Harbor

The Southern District of New York recently stressed the importance for internet service providers (“ISPs”) to comply with “safe harbor” requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in order to be shielded...more

A Plea to Interactive Websites: Check Your Copyright Agent Designations or Prepare to Face Liability for Your Users' Content

On June 30, 2015, a New York court provided a good excuse for anyone with an interactive website to double-check that its copyright agent designations with the U.S. Copyright Office are complete and accurate. Don’t know what...more

Closing the U.S. Border Gates Against Infringing Imports

Could infringing imports be jeopardizing your intellectual property rights without your knowledge? U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may be a valuable resource to protect your registered U.S. trademarks and copyrights,...more

Want to Register Your Database Copyright? Use Paper-Based Application…For Now

While data and other facts do not qualify for copyright protection, their aggregation into databases can be registered in the United States Copyright Office if the selection, coordination and arrangement of data is original...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2015

California’s Eraser Law: What IP Attorneys and Owners Need to Know - Hector recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is anxious about his upcoming job interview. He is about to enter the adult world. But he has also got...more

I Didn’t Say That – The Ability of Actors to Control Their Performances Under Canadian Copyright Law

When the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2014 opinion in Garcia v Google, its tentative conclusion that actors might enjoy copyright protection in their on-screen performances was met with vociferous...more

How Do You Go About Getting a Copyright?

"FBI Anti-Piracy Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is...more

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