The Copyright Act

News & Analysis as of

Guzman v. Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. - USDC, S.D. Texas, August 18, 2015

Defendant Hacienda Records and Recording Studio, Inc. prevailed on a copyright infringement claim brought by plaintiff Jose O. Guzman following a bench trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas....more

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet. The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti...more

Ya Down With TPP?: How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Answer the Question of Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recordings

In a recent blog, I wrote about whether the U.S. Copyright Act’s work-made-for-hire doctrine applies to copyrights in sound recordings as that status affects artists’ termination rights in transfers. The responses I received...more

Tastes Like Chicken, Not a Copyright

A common refrain: “There must be a way to protect this idea, either by trademark or copyright.” Regrettably, in many instances, the answer is “none of the above.” Take, for example, the humble chicken sandwich....more

“BRING IT ON!”: Sixth Circuit OKs Copyright Claims for Cheerleader Uniform’s Design

On August 19, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y” for the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of cheerleader uniforms in its copyright infringement lawsuit against another cheerleading gear...more

Twitter, the DMCA and Copyright in the Age of Sharing

As social media platforms continue to find new ways to allow users to share, post, and forward nonoriginal content and users become more engaged in the practice, the platforms hosting the content and disgruntled original...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret-Related Claims

Situations abound in which a defendant has been sued in state court, and wants to get to federal court. In cases in which the plaintiff has not pled a federal claim, and where diversity of citizenship is absent, there may not...more

The Ray Charles’s Foundation Doesn’t Have to “Hit the Road Jack”: Ninth Circuit Permits Foundation to Challenge the Validity of...

On July 31, 2015, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Central District of California’s dismissal of an action brought by the Ray Charles Foundation, seeking, among other things, a judicial determination of the validity and...more

Delivering Architectural Plans May Create Implied License - Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc.

Where an architectural draftsman left his design firm mid-project and later used partial plans drawn during his employment to complete the project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the ruling that the...more

No Copyright in Individual Contributions to a Film - 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin

Citing the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Garcia v. Google (IP Update, Vol. 18, No. 6), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling that...more

Uber Takes A Ride Back To State Court: Federal Court Dismisses Conversion Claim, Remands Trade Secret Misappropriation Case Back...

Order on Motion to Remand, Kevin Halpern, et al., v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., 15-cv-02401-JSW (Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley) - Uber has faced its share of challenges of late, from the established taxi...more

The Case of the Missing Designated Agent: Omitting Subsidiaries From Your DMCA Filing May Be Costly

Many of our fine readers are by now well acquainted with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the late-‘90s era addition to the Copyright Act intended to address an increasingly digital copyright landscape. The DMCA...more

Connecticut Court Sinks Claim That History Of American Submarine Infringes Copyright

A recent decision from Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in the District of Connecticut may make waves in the world of nonfiction copyright. The decision throws out a copyright case that, among other things, emphasized two...more

Trade Secrets and Removal Based on Copyright Preemption

Jurisdiction and removal may not sound like hot topics, but these considerations are critical and sometimes dispositive. Real talk: Certain state court systems are terrible places to litigate. It’s one thing to litigate a...more

Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X, LLC - USDC, C.D. California, July 16, 2015

District court holds that Internet television streaming service is eligible for compulsory licenses under § 111 of Copyright Act because it meets requirements of definition of “cable company” and Copyright Act does not...more

Fifth Circuit Revisits Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently revisited the issue of the Copyright Law preemption of trade secrets claims in Spear Marketing, Inc. v. Bancorpsouth Bank. The decision not only resolved the...more

Jay Z Awarded Attorneys’ Fees After Routing Plaintiff In Copyright Lawsuit: Now Plaintiff Has $253,409.99 Problems For Bringing...

On July 17, 2015, Judge Schofield sitting in the Southern District of New York awarded defendants Shawn Carter (a/k/a Jay Z), Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc Nation, LLC (collectively, “Roc-A-Fella”) $253,409.99 in attorneys’...more

Attorney Fees Awarded In First Impression

In Ryan v. Editions Limited West Inc., 2015 DJDAR 5455, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit decided an important issue of first impression: does the Copyright Act of 1976 preclude enforcement of a contractual...more

60s On 6; Sirius Trouble

SiriusXM Radio operates both satellite and internet radio, broadcasting many stations for every musical taste. Its Channel 6 features music from the 60s and called 60s on 6. In September 2014, Judge Philip Gutierrez in the...more

Copyright Protection: Differences Between U.S. and Canadian Law

Copyright law protects creative works such as books, paintings, sculptures, songs, and movies. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals often own a wide variety of copyrights. Sometimes a copyright owner will not...more

IP Law Tracker Docket Review

Each month, we review significant intellectual property decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District and Western District of Michigan. Below is the...more

June Court Decision Round-Up

JDS Technologies, Inc. v. Avigilon USA Corp., Case No. 15-10385, 2015 WL 3603525 (E.D. Mich. June 5, 2015) - U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn denied Avigilon’s motion to dismiss for failing to adequately plead allegations...more

16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin - USCA, Second Circuit, June 29, 2015

In matter of first impression, Second Circuit affirms ruling that director does not own copyright interest in film that he directed, because his creative contributions were inseparable from and integrated into...more

Copyright Law Unavailable for Removal of Anti-Islam Video - Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google Inc. et al.

Overturning a hotly debated district court decision, in a case involving numerous amicus curiae briefs, the en banc Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary...more

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

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