News & Analysis as of

Derivative Works

Plaintiff in Gridiron Battle Over Place of Expert Testimony in Software Copyright Claim Requests Supreme Court to Be Referee

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The software engineer who first coded the popular “John Madden Football” (now Madden NFL) computer video game has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow expert witness testimony to support his software copyright claim, over 25...more

The Grinch that stole fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Since the Supreme Court’s 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music landmark decision, courts have expanded fair use protection. While not a license to take liberally from another work, the fair use test has often tilted in favor of...more

Fearless Girl Must Stay

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In honor of International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors installed a statue of a Fearless Girl standing in front of Wall Street’s Charging Bull. The statue by artist Kristen Visbal was an overnight sensation,...more

“Charging Bull” Sculptor Articulates VARA Complaint, But “Fearless Girl” Still Standing Firm

by Sullivan & Worcester on

After a recent discussion about whether the new Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visbal in Lower Manhattan might implicate the copyright of the earlier Charging Bull sculpture that has been there for nearly three decades,...more

Creative Commons in Operation – Applying non-commercial and derivative work provisions

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

As Creative Commons licenses are more widely used, questions are developing about how to use them, and how they apply in particular situations. This column addresses some of these emerging CC interpretations....more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: John Madden Football, Rhett Butler and the Commerce Clause

by WilmerHale on

Copyright Opinions - Absence of Source Code for Video Games Results in JMOL of Non-Infringement: Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 14-15298 (9th Cir. Nov. 22, 2016). Hurwitz, J. In a suit for royalties on EA's...more

Ninth Circuit Finds “Gem-Shaped” USB Flash Drive Potentially Protectable Under the Copyright Act

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Sims is a popular series of video games in which players create virtual people called “Sims,” design these virtual peoples’ homes and neighborhoods, and help them navigate their in-game relationships, careers, and social...more

“The Man Who Brought the Beatles to America” is Bringing Them Back…to a U.S. District Court

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Sid Bernstein was a legendary promoter and producer of iconic rock-and-roll performers including the Rolling Stones, the Moody Blues and, of course, the Beatles. Bernstein earned his moniker as “The Man Who Brought the...more

Paying for software development? Make sure you own it!

by Butler Snow LLP on

In a digital society dominated by the saying, “there’s an app for that,” copyright protection is essential. Paying to have a work created does not automatically vest ownership of the copyright in the paying party. When making...more

Originality in Remastering: CBS Secures Victory in War Over Rights to Play Oldies

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

CBS recently secured a potential landmark victory that could benefit radio stations, streaming services, and satellite radio providers—many of whom have been mired in litigation for years with owners of sound recordings of...more

Nobody Puts Trademark Claims in a Corner (Except when Copyright Law Preempts Them)

Nostalgia is a big seller these days. Hollywood continues to produce remakes (and remakes of remakes), politicians lament the better days of yesterday, and companies capitalize on feelings of nostalgia in order to make money....more

FAN ART: Tribute or Tribulation?

“Fan Art”—you’ve probably seen it and didn’t know it. Maybe you’ve even purchased it, not knowing it wasn’t legally created. So what is it, exactly? Fan art is art created by fans of characters that were originally created by...more

Judge Leval Illuminates Google Books Fair Use Issues Second Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Defendant in Massive Copying Case

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Based on the defense of fair use, the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Google in the decade-long copyright battle between an authors group and the Internet search giant. The lawsuit concerned Google’s right to...more

Transformative Parody Entitled to Independent Copyright Protections - Keeling v. Hars

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court in a rare instance where a playwright’s derivative work—a parody—fell within the fair use doctrine and acquired sufficient originality to warrant...more

When a Quirk of Copyright Law Creates a Christmas Classic: It’s a Wonderful Life and the Public Domain

George Bailey stands on a bridge begging for another chance at life. Upon being granted a second chance, he joyously runs home to embrace his family. As the community of Bedford Falls rallies around him and raises funds to...more

Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl”: a Derivative Work with a Co-Author

by BakerHostetler on

On January 1, 2016, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Joseph Goebbels’ diaries will both enter the public domain in most of Europe, where the term of protection ends 70 years after the death of a work’s author. One of the Nazi’s...more

First Circuit Clarifies Rights of Co-Author of Joint Derivative Work to Make Further Derivatives

In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously...more

A Joint Author Does Not Own Derived Material - Greene, et al. v. Ablon, et al.

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing joint and derivative works under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found the district court erred in ruling that a single work cannot be both joint and derivative. Greene, et al. v....more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Copyright Co-Owner’s Ability to Grant an Exclusive Right to a Third Party - Corbello v. DeVito

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Revisiting the issue of a copyright co-owner’s right to grant an exclusive right to a third party, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified its prior ruling in Sybersound v. UAV, and explained that a...more

What is ‘Blocking IP’?: Why You Should Care When Licensing Source Code

by DLA Piper on

A client this week asked me to help him with a source code license. What started as a simple request with crafting a paragraph inevitably grew due to the concept of “blocking intellectual property.” While I would argue that...more

Navigating The Rocky Shoals Of Software Copyrights

by Jackson Walker on

Originally published in Chapter 17 of the State Bar of Texas - Advanced Intellectual Property Law. Contents: I. Introduction II. In Which Our Hero is Dashed on the Rocky Shoals of Software Coypright A....more

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