The Copyright Act

News & Analysis as of

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: You Really Need to Register Your Copyrights

As explained by the United States Supreme Court in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, registering a copyright is an essential element of a cause of action for copyright infringement. Lesser appellate and trial courts have...more

Supreme Court 2015-2016 Intellectual Property Case Review

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2015 term came to a close. The Court issued written decisions in three intellectual property cases during that term, the same number of cases as during the previous term,...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc. - USCA, Eleventh Circuit, June 29, 2016

In most recent decision over The Turtles’ pre-1972 sound recordings, Eleventh Circuit asks Florida Supreme Court to determine whether state law recognizes common law copyright in sound recordings and, if so, whether that...more

Second Circuit In Vimeo Narrows The Red Flag Knowledge and Willful Blindness Exceptions To DMCA Safe Harbors

The Second Circuit recently decided Capitol Records, LLC, et al. v. Vimeo, LLC (2d Cir. June 16, 2016) (“Vimeo”), a landmark decision concerning the interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the...more

Advertising Law - July 2016

Ad Company's Geotargeting Locates a $1M Penalty - InMobi, a Singapore-based mobile advertising company, will pay almost $1 million in civil penalties and implement a comprehensive privacy program to settle charges that...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: In "Vogue," Burning Man, Building Plans and More

Copyright Opinions - Samples in Madonna's “Vogue” Too Trivial to Be Infringing: VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone, Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837 (9th Cir. June 2, 2016) - Graber, J. In a suit claiming infringement of both...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2016

Supreme Court: Status Quo in Cuozzo - Why it matters: On June 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, where it rejected challenges to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes...more

Campaign IP Violations Part 3 – Huckabee’s Campaign Pays Up

In December, we told you about Mike Huckabee’s campaign getting sued for copyright infringement for using “Eye of the Tiger” without permission at a rally supporting Kim Davis, the Tennessee clerk that refused to issue...more

Supreme Court Affirms Discretion to Award Fees in Copyright Suits, But Case Precedence Not Relevant

The Copyright Act states that the trial court “may…award” attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. Legal fees incurred by plaintiffs and defendants alike in copyright and other intellectual property cases can be staggering,...more

Software Vendors: Do Your Employees Own Your Software?

When an employee claims to own his employer’s software, the analysis will turn to whether that employee was an “author” for the purposes of the Copyright Act, and what the employee “contributed” to the software. This, in...more

Statutory Damages for Infringement of your Copyrights and Trademarks

Statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement are damages provided for under federal law, which is an advantage to the claimant because other types of damages (lost profits, compensatory damages) can be difficult...more

Busy Supreme Court Docket In Intellectual Property Highlighted By Cases On Enhanced Damages, Attorney's Fees, Claim Construction...

In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics (14-1513), in which it addressed the Federal Circuit's test for determining whether enhanced damages should be awarded for...more

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc. - U.S. Supreme Court, June 16, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court holds “objective reasonableness” of losing party’s position is important factor but not controlling one in considering award of attorneys’ fees under Copyright Act. Graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, a...more

The Kirtsaeng Opinion: Supreme Court Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Copyright Cases

Recently, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court provided substantial guidance in an unsettled area of law by holding that, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under 17 U.S.C. §505, the...more

Kirtsaeng II: Fees in Copyright Cases Depends on Reasonableness of Litigation Position

In Depth - Under 17 USC § 505, a “court may … award a reasonable attorney’s fee to the prevailing party.” However, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, 17 USC...more

Internet Service Providers and Oldies Fans Rejoice: Second Circuit Holds the DMCA Safe Harbor Covers Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

The Second Circuit’s decision last week in Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC was a victory for internet service providers who host third-party content. It plugged a major loophole in the DMCA safe harbor for information...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Infringement Actions

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., to provide lower courts with guidance regarding the circumstances for awarding attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party in a...more

Supreme Court In Kirstaeng V Wiley: Objective Reasonableness Not Controlling For Attorney Fees

The case of Kirstaeng v. Wiley hit the headlines in 2013 when the Supreme Court held that importation and sale in the United States of books bought from the copyright owner in Thailand was not an infringement of copyright,...more

Supreme Court Injects Uncertainty Into Attorney’s Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

The day after it liberalized the standard for awarding enhanced damages in patent cases, a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Kagan, substantially broadened lower courts’ discretion in granting...more

Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Discretionary Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified how courts should exercise their discretion to award attorneys' fees to the prevailing party in copyright cases. The Court unanimously held that courts should give...more

Copyright Flash Report: Attorneys' Fees and Pre-1972 Safe Harbor

Objective Reasonableness Must Receive “Substantial Weight” in Copyright Attorney-Fee Shifting Decisions:Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375 (U.S. June 16, 2016) - Kagan, J. In a unanimous decision, the...more

Litigation Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Attorney’s Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

Last week in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., the Supreme Court held that district courts have wide discretion to grant attorney’s fee awards but should give substantial weight to whether the losing party was objectively...more

High Court Eases Ability to Recover Enhanced Remedies in Patent and Copyright Cases

Within the past week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two unanimous rulings that could make it easier for prevailing parties in patent cases to recover enhanced damages and for winning parties in copyright cases to recover...more

The Importance of Being Earnest and Objectively Reasonable

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. continues to make controlling copyright law, visiting the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time on an issue of great importance to copyright owners and litigants. This time, the issued...more

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