Why Did Godzilla & James Bond Need Congress' Protection?
New Happy Birthday Song, Copyright-Free
Leslie Klinger, noted Sherlock Holmes scholar and lawyer, has waged a nearly all-out legal offensive against the Estate of Arthur Conan Doyle over the Estate’s assertion of a copyright in connection with certain works...more
Continuing our primate theme for this month's newsletter, we thought this would be as good a time as any to remind our readers as to the important distinction between copyrighted artistic works, and use of elements from those...more
It has been two years since British nature photographer David Slater first asked Wikimedia Commons to remove several photos of a crested black macaque from its online collection of public domain images. Slater claimed to own...more
The August issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to MarketTM newsletter is all about monkey business, including an analysis of the copyright debate between British photographer David Slater and Wikimedia Commons over "selfies"...more
Over the past several months, Judge Posner and the Seventh Circuit has handed a couple of rare, but well-deserved wins to the public domain. On June 16, 2014, the Court issued an opinion holding that the primary characters...more
This August will mark the 75th anniversary of the release of the classic film The Wizard of Oz. As Warner Bros. celebrates the iconic status acquired by the film and its characters during the past seven-plus decades, the...more
Led by Judge Richard Posner, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently refused what Posner called a “quixotic” attempt to extend copyright law. While the holding was perhaps to be expected, the opinion introduced a...more
The copyright clause of the U.S. Constitution incentivizes the creation of original works of art by granting authors exclusive rights in such works for “limited Times.” U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 8. The idea is to strike a...more
These are his “Confessions!” Usher has emerged victorious in a copyright lawsuit involving the song “Caught Up.” In Edwards et al. v. Raymond et al., Plaintiffs Zacharia Edwards, Mitch Moses, and Vince McClean alleged that...more
Between Benedict Cumberbatch’s sly smile on the BBC’s “Sherlock” and Johnny Lee Miller’s haunted recovering drug addict on CBS’ “Elementary,” there’s no shortage of possible Sherlock Holmes’ in modern culture. (Add in Robert...more
On 23 December 2013, US District Judge Ruben Castillo ruled that some key characters in the Sherlock Holmes series created by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle are free for the public to copy without infringing the copyright of Conan...more
FTC Makes New Year’s Resolution to Target Deceptive Weight-Loss Claims -
While many Americans made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or get in better shape, the Federal Trade Commission resolved to eliminate...more
Comedian Dmitri Martin has a great joke about the expression “sort of.” Although normally a fairly meaningless expression, saying “sort of” after certain things suddenly becomes very important. Such as after the phrase “I...more
How many times have you sung “Happy Birthday” in your life? Or heard it sung? Now, have you ever wondered whether you (or the hundreds of millions of other people who sing the song) are infringing someone’s copyright in the...more
Have you ever noticed how people rarely sing “Happy Birthday to You” in movies and television? Instead, people usually sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” even though no one actually sings that song in real life. ...more
March 18 (Bloomberg Law) -- The Constitution lays it out. "To promote the progress of science and useful arts" we give creators an incentive; an opportunity to profit from their work for "limited times."
After that, the...more
That's "It's your Birthday!" by Monk Turner and Fascinoma.
If New Jersey radio station WFMU and the Free Music Archive have their way, it will soon replace the most recognized song in the English language, "Happy Birthday...more
Now that 2013 has arrived, we look forward to a new year of media cases. However, in order to orient ourselves for 2013, it is important to stop and take a look back at some of the relevant entertainment and media cases of...more
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