The Copyright Act

News & Analysis as of

A Brief History of the Broadcast Reproduction Right

The following is a timeline of broadcast reproduction copyright developments, leading to yesterday’s Supreme Court of Canada decision in CBC v. SODRAC. 1980’s: SODRAC, a copyright collective society managing (largely...more

Keeling v. Hars - USCA, Second Circuit, October 30, 2015

Second Circuit affirms denial of summary judgment on defendant’s counterclaim seeking declaration that plaintiff’s theatrical script parodying 1991 motion picture “Point Break” was not entitled to copyright...more

Posturing for Protection: Yogi Chooses Wrong IP Tool to Protect Yoga Sequence

The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Bikram’s Yoga College of India, L.P. v. Evolution Yoga, LLC, et al. is a stark reminder that ideas, processes and systems are not copyrightable, even if a book describing such is.  This...more

Federal Circuit Review | October 2015

Federal Circuit Revives Possibility of Permanent Injunction in Apple-Samsung Patent Dispute - In Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Appeal No. 2014-1802, the Federal Circuit reversed for abuse of discretion the...more

“Raging Bull” and the Patent Act: Laches Still Available in Patent Cases - SCA Hygiene Products AB et al. v. First Quality Baby...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit convened an en banc panel to examine the Supreme Court’s “Raging Bull” decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. in the context of deciding whether laches remains a...more

Advertising Law - October 2015 #4

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Application of VPPA to Free App - The latest decision interpreting the application of the Video Privacy Protection Act in the context of twenty-first century technology provides positive news for...more

Fahmy v. Jay Z - USDC, C.D. California, October 21, 2015

District court grants defendants’ motion for judgment as matter of law, finding that songwriter’s heir did not have standing to sue for copyright infringement because he had conveyed all his economic rights (copyright) to the...more

The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. USCA Second Circuit, October 16, 2015

Second Circuit affirms district court's holding that Google's creation of searchable, digital copies of tens of millions of books constitutes fair use under Copyright Act, because Google's search service merely provides...more

Second Circuit Holds That the Google Digital Books Project Is Protected Under the Fair Use Doctrine

On October 16, the Second Circuit ruled that Google’s scanning of millions of books without the copyright holders’ permission, for use in its “Google Books” database, is permissible under the fair use doctrine. Google Books...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Fair Use Must Be Considered Prior to Issuing Takedown

In the so-called “dancing baby” case, the Ninth Circuit ruled recently that copyright owners must consider the fair use doctrine before sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notifications to online...more

Transforming Works: The Second Circuit Rules That the Google Library Project Digitization Is a Transformative Fair Use in Authors...

On October 16, 2015, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc., 954 F. Supp. 2d 282 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), previously reported here, that Google’s digitization of complete...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

Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Decision

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Google's digitization of books for use in its Google Books and Google Books Library Project is not copyright infringement. The Court also ruled that providing a public...more

Takeaways from Chisum’s Washington, D.C. September 2015 Seminar

On September 24-25, 2015, the Chisum Patent Academy held a two-day seminar at the offices of Kaye Scholer LLP in Washington, DC to discuss and debate current developments in U.S. patent law. The roundtable seminar group was...more

Baldwin v. EMI Feist Catalog, Inc. - USCA, Second Circuit, October 8, 2015

Second Circuit overturns district court ruling and holds that notice of termination sent to EMI for song “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” successfully terminated 1981 grant of rights because, despite the lack of recordation of...more

Unhappy Birthday

About a month ago, the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a summary judgment ruling putting a nail in the coffin of one of the most tragically comical copyright claims of all time. ...more

DMCA Take-Down Notice: Best Practices

Since 1998, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”) was enacted, the DMCA take-down notice has achieved the status of a trusted weapon aimed by copyright owners directly at the unauthorized transmission of...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

Ray Charles Foundation Can Challenge Heirs’ Attempt to Reclaim Copyrights - Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson et al.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by the sole beneficiary of the Ray Charles estate, concluding that the Ray Charles Foundation had standing to challenge...more

Licensing Agent Has Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Suit - Minden Pictures, Inc. v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Addressing the issue of whether a photograph licensing agent has standing to bring an infringement suit under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision, concluding...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

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 Trend for Retailers to Avoid – Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Over Clothing

Textile Copyright Infringement Claims on the Rise - Katy Perry received a lot of attention for the dress she wore to the Met Ball this year, and not all of it was welcome. A Brooklyn artist thought that the dress was an...more

Rupa Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2015

District court grants plaintiffs summary judgment, holding that defendants never acquired rights in and do not own valid copyright to lyrics of “Happy Birthday to You.” In 1893, the Hills assigned their rights to the...more

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