The Copyright Act

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects Google’s Appeal in Java API Dispute

On June 29th, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Google’s appeal of the Federal Circuit’s 2014 ruling that that the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of 37 Java API packages are entitled to...more

Copyright Law: The Silent © in Same-Sex Marriage

Last week, the focus of the legal world was not on intellectual property, to put it mildly. However, copyright law did have a small and somewhat silent, but still important, role in the Supreme Court jurisprudence that led to...more

Why the Battle over Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recording Copyright Transfers Hasn’t Happened (and Probably Won’t)

January 1, 2013 was a date long-feared by the recording industry. It marked the 35-year anniversary of the effective date of the Copyright Act of 1976, which grants authors of works an absolute right to terminate a transfer...more

Counts v. Meriwether - USDC, C.D. California, June 12, 2015

District court dismisses breach of contract and conversion claims in lawsuit brought by two screenwriters who alleged defendants used script to create television series "New Girl," holding breach of contract claim was...more

Amendments to Japan METI Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (Guidelines), which apply to all online business operations in...more

Who’s on First? Depends if Fair Use is on Second and Public Domain is on Third

Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” brings back memories of my seventh-grade talent show where I performed the routine with Brandon Berry at Atascocita Middle School. I can’t remember if we won second or third place —...more

Preemption of State-Law Tort Claims by the Copyright Act - Ray v. ESPN

Addressing the issue of the preemption of state-law claims by the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of several state-law tort claims because the claims are...more

Canadian Copyright Term Extensions

As we noted in our earlier post the bill known as Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 was tabled in the House of Commons on May 7, 2015. It passed Second Reading in the House of Commons on May 25th and is now with the House...more

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Kirtsaeng - USCA, Second Circuit, May 27, 2015

Second Circuit affirms denial of defendant’s request for attorneys’ fees in copyright infringement dispute, finding plaintiff pursued objectively reasonable litigation position, having previously prevailed in both district...more

Perfect 10 Slammed With $5.5 Million In Fees And Costs Under The Copyright Act Without A Finding Of Frivolous Or Objectively...

The Central District of California recently awarded over $5 million in attorneys’ fees and over $400,000 in costs, emphasizing the degree of success obtained by Defendants and the improper motivations of Plaintiff. The court...more

Ryan v. Editions Limited West, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Cir., May 19, 2015

Ninth Circuit holds Copyright Act does not preclude enforcement of contractual attorneys’ fee provision in copyright-based litigation. Artist Victoria Ryan sued Editions Limited West, Inc. (ELW), a publisher of her...more

The Fact That an Argument Is a Loser Is Not Enough to Make It Stand Out in a Crowd

Order Denying Defendant’s Motions for Sanctions and Attorney Fees, Kreative Power, LLC, v. Monoprice, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-02991-SI (Judge Susan Illston) - Little more than a year has passed since the Supreme Court...more

Ninth Circuit Draws Fine Line Around Fine Art Resale Royalties

In a partial victory for artists such as Chuck Close and the Sam Francis Foundation—and for other visual artists who sold early works for rent money before establishing their name and value—the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Ray v. ESPN, Inc. - USCA, Eighth Circuit, April 22, 2015

Eighth Circuit affirms dismissal of professional wrestler’s state-law right of publicity claims arising from ESPN’s re-telecast of wrestling match footage as preempted by Copyright Act....more

Balancing the Budget …and Balancing Copyright

The Government of Canada’s Budget Plan for 2015 proposes various measures within the expected areas of tax relief, job creation and economic growth measures.  It also includes a very unexpected proposal to extend the...more

“Raging Bull” Settles but Its Repercussions Persist

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., et al., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (U.S. 2014) delivered a clear message to copyright holders and those who wish to capitalize on those copyrights. The...more

Bob Marley’s Heirs Lanham Act Win Upheld - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc.

Addressing the issue of when the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitutes a false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2015

Copyrighting Player-Generated Content in Video Games - Last year, consumers spent more than $21 billion on the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association reports that almost 60% of Americans—roughly...more

With Highly Anticipated Copyright Decision, The AutoHop Litigation Is Coming to a Close

In 2012, DISH Network announced two novel product offerings that would result in considerable backlash from the four major broadcast television networks and set in motion a three-year, wide-ranging, multi-front battle with...more

Virginia Court Dismisses Webcaster’s Suit Concerning Geofencing Workaround to Copyright Royalty Obligations

We previously wrote about a Virginia federal magistrate judge’s report recommending dismissal of a declaratory judgment action brought by several radio stations asking the court to rule that webcasts limited in scope via...more

American Broadcasting Co. v. Aereo and its Aftermath

The U.S. Copyright Act in 17 USC 106 specifically gives copyright owners the exclusive right to control “performances” of their works. 17 USC 101 defines public performance as including “transmission” of the work. In 17 USC...more

Monkey Selfie Redux

When we last examined the intellectual property issues raised by a self-portrait taken by a talented female Indonesian crested black macaque—popularly known as the “Monkey Selfie”—we concluded that there was unlikely to be...more

The Transformative Nature of The Fair Use Doctrine: The On-going Debate

While the 7th Circuit, in Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC, 766 F.3d 756 (2014), affirmed a finding of fair use, the court’s analysis expresses skepticism about the approach used in Prince v. Cariou, 714 F.3d 694 (2013) and may...more

American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.

USDC, Southern District of New York, October 23, 2014 - In light of Supreme Court’s recent decision that defendant Aereo, Inc., engaged in public performances under Copyright Act by capturing over-the-air broadcast...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

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