Copyright

A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.
News & Analysis as of

Changes to UK Design Legislation

Amendments to the UK design law regime came into effect on October 1st 2014. Businesses should be conscious of a number of significant changes under the Intellectual Property Act 2014, as well as further changes which are due...more

Idea-Expression Dichotomy Remains Key to Copyright Protection of New Technology

Can you state the difference between an idea and the expression of that idea? Don’t worry if it doesn’t slip off your tongue. This distinction one of the most difficult areas of copyright law but far from academic because...more

Court Rules Against Georgia State University in E-Reserves Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a long-awaited decision in the Georgia State e-reserves copyright case on October 17, 2014. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded to the District Court...more

Another Step in the Long March from Campbell v. Acuff-Rose toward Fair Use Free-for-All?

TVEyes is a media-monitoring subscription service that “records the entire content of television and radio broadcasts and creates a searchable database of that content.” This service allows subscribers to search keywords or...more

Georgia State Academic Fair Use Decision Vacated by 11th Circuit: A (Relatively) Quick Read for the Busy Practitioner

Last Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded the Northern District of Georgia’s 350-page fair use analysis of the electronic reserves practices at Georgia State University (“GSU”). Although this...more

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014

Briggs v. Blomkamp - USDC, N.D. Cal., October 3, 2014 : District court grants summary judgment for screenwriter and film companies in copyright infringement case, finding that plaintiff author lacked any evidence of...more

Apparel Designs and the “Metaphysics” of Copyright Protection

Metaphysics is usually thought to be the province of philosophers or theologians. A recent decision by a U.S. District Court in Tennessee, Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, 110 U.S.P.Q.2d 1150 (W.D. Tenn. 2014),...more

Converse: Stomping Out Counterfeits through Int’l Trade Commission Proceedings

Earlier this week, Converse launched an all-out offensive to combat what it considers counterfeit and knock-off versions of its Chuck Taylor All-Star line of sneakers. Reports peg the number as at least 22 separate lawsuits...more

Superman Dodges a Bullet: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Heirs’ Bid to Reclaim Character Copyright

Close on the heels of the settlement between Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby’s heirs, which ended their dispute over copyright in a number of iconic comic book characters, the heirs to one of Superman’s co-creators, artist...more

Copyright: Europe Explores Its Boundaries - Part 4: New UK Infringement Exceptions – The Ones That Came Back Again

In June of this year, we sent out an alert about the anticipated new UK copyright infringement exceptions. These exceptions were to be introduced based on the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review. Surprisingly, some of...more

Supreme Court’s Footnote About Auckerman in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. Does Not Create New Law: Cordis’s Laches Defense...

Medinol Ltd., v. Cordis Corporation and Johnson & Johnson Case Number: 1:13-cv-0148-SAS In March, Judge Scheindlin found that laches formed a complete defense for Cordis in this matter. Medinol did not appeal...more

Order Pierces Allegations Unsupported By Receivable Evidence In Granting Summary Judgment To All Parties In IP Dispute

In 2011 EarthCam, Inc. (“EarthCam”) brought suit against Richard Hermann (“Hermann”), OxBlue Corporation, Chandler McCormarck, John Paulson, and Brian Mattern (collectively “OxBlue”) asserting corporate espionage to...more

Star Wars: Redefining Trademark and Copyright Law Since A Long Time Ago

The Star Wars series is truly an exceptional franchise, having broken box office records, creating legions of fans, and bringing the idea of collateral merchandise licensing to an unprecedented level. Also, how many other...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - U.S.D.C., C.D. California, September 22, 2014 : District court grants partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff on copyright claims against Sirius XM Radio, holding that...more

September 2014: Entertainment Litigation Update

ABC v. Aereo: Supreme Court Holds that Aereo’s System of Streaming Television Broadcasts via the Internet Infringes Copyrights in Programs Broadcast. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the...more

Turtles Quick to Leverage SiriusXM Decision in New Suit Against Pandora

Any child familiar with Aesop’s Fables can tell you that turtles are slow. The founding members of the 1960s rock band named after these half-shelled plodders, however, were anything but slow in moving to take full advantage...more

A Clarifying Development – “Canadian Content” Tax Credit Regulations Amended

The October 4, 2014 Canada Gazette (being vol. 148, no. 40), contained something of note for Canadian film and TV lawyers: amendments to the Income Tax Act regulations which govern the “Canadian content” tax credits for...more

Superheroes for Hire? Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby Heirs Settle Character Copyright Dispute

As regular readers of this blog will know, comic book superheroes frequently find themselves at the center of legal disputes over copyright in fictional characters. In many cases, both sides agree that the characters in...more

Freelancers’ Articles Are Not Free

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a victory to freelance authors of newspaper and magazine articles, and a defeat to some major publishers of their work. The publishers hired the authors as independent contractors who would...more

Joint Ownership of Intellectual Property: Complexity That Only a Lawyer Could Love

Companies are increasingly working cooperatively to develop technology, particularly software programs. One critical issue is the ownership of the resulting intellectual property in the software programs. This decision is...more

SiriusXM and Pre-1972 Recordings Not So Happy Together

Debate over the most influential band from the 1960s will generally include names like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin, but a lesser-known act from one of music’s greatest eras, the Turtles, may have just...more

Emerging Technology and Existing Law: Can Geofencing Provide Radio Webcasters a Workaround of Digital Performance Royalties?

New technology continues to generate business models that test the limits of intellectual property laws enacted before such technologies were ever contemplated. The latest example is the use of “geofencing” in an attempt to...more

“Textbook Dictionary” Definitions Not Fair Use, Says Mass. Federal Court

On September 26, 2014, the District of Massachusetts shot down a plan to develop a “textbook dictionary.” James Richards, inspired in part by the Autobiography of Malcolm X, developed a project to convert the dictionary from...more

Did We Designate a DMCA Agent for Our Website Yet?

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a "service provider" (as defined by the DMCA) has a safe harbor against liability for copyright infringement if, inter alia, the service provider has designated a DMCA agent...more

Acker v. King - USDC, D Conn., September 24, 2014

Acker v. King - USDC, D Conn., September 24, 2014: District court dismisses copyright infringement and perjury suit brought by creator of short story The Haunting of Addie Longwood against best-selling author Stephen...more

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