News & Analysis as of

Fair Use

The Grinch loses and protection of parody wins

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Someone once said make sure your words are sweet as you may have to eat them. In the attached decision, the Judge finds the play "Who’s Holiday" is a parody entitled to fair use. He grants Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on...more

The IP Cons of Fan Conventions

Pop culture fan conventions are huge in the new millennium. “Cons,” as they are often called, have sprung up all over the country and grown into a massive cultural phenomenon. There are Cons for comics, movie and television...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

Taking His Talents To The Southern District Of New York: Are LeBron James’ Tattoos Subject To Copyright?

by Weintraub Tobin on

With nearly 30% of Americans sporting at least one tattoo (up from 20% just four years ago), tattoos are becoming commonplace. This is even clearer among younger Americans, with nearly half of Millennials sporting ink. ...more

“Let’s Play:” DMCA Takedown Notices and Game Developer Acquiescence

There is an entire gaming sub-culture developed around watching others play video games. I’m not talking about gathering around the Game Cube in your friend’s basement and passing the only controller. “Let’s Play” videos...more

Dr. Phil and His Texas-Sized Copyright Victory in the Lone Star State: Is This “EDTX 2.0” After TC Heartland?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

And just like that, it was over. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group sun-setted the reign of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas as the country’s busiest (and arguably,...more

9th Circuit’s VidAngel decision vindicates lawful video filtering service

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Some have cast the Disney v. VidAngel proceeding, decided August 24 by the 9th Circuit, as the “big studios” versus the “little guy”; the movie studios’ collective effort to kill filtering. This is far from the truth....more

Out-of-CTRL C

CTRL C and CTRL V (copy/paste) are widely used keyboard commands to add interesting content to emails, newsletters and slide decks. Everyone does it, so it must be okay, right? Not quite....more

Dr. Phil Serves Bitter Pill To Woman Who Stole Nine Seconds Of Footage

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Television host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw got just what the doctor ordered when a district court in Texas awarded summary judgment on Dr. Phil’s copyright claim against the woman who sued him in 2015 for alleged false...more

Summary Judgment “Disfavored” for Resolving Fair Use Trademark Defense

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Examining the issue of trademark fair use, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court grant of summary judgment in favor of a promotional products company and remanded the case for reconsideration...more

A Copyright Fable: Debunking The “Seven-Second Rule”

If you are a television news producer or documentary filmmaker, you have almost certainly faced this issue: You are putting together a story about a past event, and you want to make the point that this past event was once the...more

Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

by Snell & Wilmer on

In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service. Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed...more

A Bold Victory for Copyright Fair Use

Get your webcams ready: the reaction video genre got a huge shot in the arm from the Southern District of New York this week. h3h3 Productions, a popular YouTube channel with well over four million subscribers, has been...more

Is 2 seconds of television time too much to be a fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

In a recent episode of "48 Hours," CBS displayed – for two seconds – a copyrighted photograph taken by Steven Hirsch. He sued for copyright infringement. A federal court in Manhattan denied CBS’s motion to dismiss, finding...more

AD-ttorneys@law

by BakerHostetler on

“Iron Mike” Tyson is a controversial sports figure who seems in equal parts loved and loathed by the public. Celebrated for a genuine world-class talent and derided for his behavior in and out of the ring, Tyson has a public...more

Creator Of NBA 2K16 Warns Tattoo Lawsuit Could Leave Lasting Impression

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A multi-million dollar lawsuit for copyright infringement against Take Two Software, the creators of NBA 2K16 has proved to be anything but a slam dunk. The alleged infringement concerns player avatars displaying tattoos...more

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...more

Trademark Fair Use: A Subjective Call No Matter What Side of the Pond

There are occasions where displaying another company’s trademark is desirable. Whether that type of trademark use is lawful generally is a subjective, fact-specific determination under both United States and European Union...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

Advertising Law - August 2017

U.K. to Ban Gender Stereotypes in Ads - Gender stereotypes in advertising will be banned as a result of new guidelines that will be promulgated by the main advertising regulators in the United Kingdom and go into effect in...more

Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business

by Knobbe Martens on

Introduction - •Music copyrights: –Musical works – sheet music and lyrics •Author is generally composer/lyricist and controls •Can be administered through a music publisher - Please see full Presentation below...more

Sultry Lady Liberty leads Postal Service astray

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Beware sultry-looking ladies. That’s one of the lessons from the recent court decision sending a copyright case against the United States Postal Service to trial, but there are more. The decision can serve as a teaching...more

University's Infringing Reproductions Fall Short of Fair Dealing

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The fair dealing user right, as an exception to copyright infringement, has its limits. The fact that a use falls within an enumerated purpose under the Copyright Act is no guarantee of immunity from infringement. To avoid...more

The Ninth Circuit Writes the Script on Pleading and Proving Reverse Confusion Claims

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified the requirements for pleading and establishing a trademark infringement claim under a “reverse confusion” theory in Marketquest Group v. BIC, Case No. 15-55755 (9th...more

Welcome to the WIPO overview 3.0

by Hogan Lovells on

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently updated its WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, the previous edition of which (WIPO Overview 2.0) was published in 2011....more

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