The Copyright Act

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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

Supreme Court’s Footnote About Auckerman in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. Does Not Create New Law: Cordis’s Laches Defense...

Medinol Ltd., v. Cordis Corporation and Johnson & Johnson Case Number: 1:13-cv-0148-SAS In March, Judge Scheindlin found that laches formed a complete defense for Cordis in this matter. Medinol did not appeal...more

Emerging Technology and Existing Law: Can Geofencing Provide Radio Webcasters a Workaround of Digital Performance Royalties?

New technology continues to generate business models that test the limits of intellectual property laws enacted before such technologies were ever contemplated. The latest example is the use of “geofencing” in an attempt to...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

The Challenge of the Unlocatable Copyright Owner – Checklists!

As this blog has documented on numerous occasions, Canada’s Copyright Act contains an “unlocatable owner” licensing mechanism (sometimes referred to as the “orphan works” mechanism), which enables prospective users of...more

Copying Is Not the Ultimate Test for Copyright Infringement

Paycom Payroll, LLC v. Richison - Copying alone is insufficient to establish copyright infringement, according to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In an infringement action involving computer...more

Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection

I know this story crested a few weeks ago, but who can resist it? A famous 1998 Molson Canadian ad posed a Canadian version of the infinite monkey theorem. The cheeky ad, showing a seemingly endless array of monkeys on...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...more

Monkeying around with Copyright Laws – Who can Own a Copyright?

Over the past month, the internet has been abuzz trying to determine if the owner of the copyright to this photo belongs to the monkey or the camera owner, David Slater. During a trip to Indonesia in 2011, Slater, a...more

Copyright Law Protects Course Syllabi From Disclosure Under Missouri Sunshine Law

Last month, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, held that a public university was not required to turn over copies of certain course materials, including course syllabi, in response to a public records request....more

Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. - USCA Ninth Circuit, August 22, 2014

Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. - USCA Ninth Circuit, August 22, 2014: On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that doctrine of laches could not bar plaintiff's copyright infringement claims involving...more

Management’s Ignorance Is Not a Defense to Copyright Infringement Claims

One of the most common reactions to an initial software audit letter is that management had no knowledge of any potential violations, that the IT personnel behavior violated corporate policy, and that management did not...more

Supreme Court Decision Threatens Internet Television, But There Is Hope

When Congress last completely overhauled the Copyright Act in 1976, disco topped the charts, Charlie’s Angels was making its television debut, and fax machines were revolutionizing how people communicated. But it was this...more

Termination and Reversion of Copyright Grants and the Termination Gap Dilemma

The 1976 Copyright Act (the “Act”) has been in effect since January 1, 1978. Since that time, the Act has provided authors (and some heirs, beneficiaries, and representatives) with the right to terminate prior grants of their...more

Funkadelic Master Sound Recordings Can Be Involuntarily Transferred to a Court-Appointed Receiver to Satisfy Judgment

Hendricks & Lewis PLLC v. Clinton - Addressing the issue of whether a lower court abused its discretion by appointing a receiver and authorizing the sale of master sound recordings to satisfy monetary judgments, the...more

Stop the Music (or Be Vicariously Liable)

Broadcast Music, Inc., et al v. Meadowlake, Ltd. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found a restaurant owner personally liable where the restaurant played recorded and live music without authorization,...more

Raging Bull Decision Riles Hollywood, Thrills Plaintiffs

In June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision affecting copyright claims and defenses. The copyrighted work at issue was the popular motion picture Raging Bull, in which Robert DeNiro plays famous boxing champion Jake...more

Sports, Media and Entertainment Intelligence - August 2014 (Global)

BROADCASTING - US: Following loss before the Supreme Court, Aereo “astonishes” broadcasters with new legal strategy - New York-based Aereo asserts in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license...more

House Judiciary Subcommittee Continued its Review of Intellectual Property Law with Hearings on Copyright Infringement Remedies,...

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet recently held hearings targeted at further exploring intellectual property laws and policy. On July 24, the Subcommittee held...more

Wizard of Oz Celebrates 75th Anniversary & Victory in Copyright and Trademark Dispute Over Film Characters

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

CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. FilmOn.com, Inc.

CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. FilmOn.com, Inc. - USDC, S.D.N.Y., July 24, 2014: District court issues second contempt finding against unauthorized content redistributor FilmOn.com, finding that FilmOn.com violated...more

United States Supreme Court Rules Online TV Streaming Service Violates Copyright Law

On June 25, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States in ABC v. Aereo, Inc., No. 13-461 (S.Ct. June 25, 2014), in an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer, ruled that an online television streaming service that allows...more

Following loss before the Supreme Court, Aereo "astonishes" broadcasters with new legal strategy

Shortly after its highly publicized loss before the US Supreme Court, which appeared to doom its over-the-air television Internet streaming business, New York-based Aereo has asserted in federal district court that it is...more

Copyright Office: Aereo Likely Not A Cable Company

We previously reported on the Supreme Court’s recent decision on June 25, 2014 that Aereo, Inc.’s internet television service infringed the copyright of the programs being transmitted by the service. In holding that Aereo was...more

Aereo Loses Battle with Broadcasters Over Online Television Programming

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court ruled on June 29, 2014 that Aereo Inc.’s online service that broadcasts television programming over the Internet infringed on the exclusive right of television broadcasters...more

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