The Copyright Act Copyright

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Can Science be Copyrighted? You Might be Surprised…

Biotechnology. For many, the mere mention of the word stirs up a thought of people in white lab coats working in underground bunkers trying to create superhuman mutant weapons, with beakers of green goo bubbling in the...more

7 Steps to Help Your Retail Business Avoid Copyright Infringement

When people think of copyrights, they usually think of paintings and other works of fine art, novels, and the like. While copyright protection certainly applies to these types of highly expressive works, it also applies to...more

Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. v. TD - Ameritrade Services Co. Inc. USDC, C.D. California, March 14, 2016

District court holds Lions Gate's trademark-related claims under Lanham Act and related state law are preempted by Copyright Act in suit over financial services ad campaign that used modified version of famous line "Nobody...more

Litigation Alert: 8th Circuit Clarifies Reach of Copyright Act in Preempting Right of Publicity Claims

8th Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL on former NFL players’ right of publicity claim, finding the claim to be preempted by the Copyright Act. Courts around the country have long struggled to define and...more

Monkey See, Monkey Sue Doesn’t Fly Under U.S. Copyright Law

In August 2014, we posted about a copyright ownership dispute involving selfie photographs. The disputed selfie photographs were taken by a monkey named Naruto in Indonesia in 2011. The photography equipment used to take...more

Justice Scalia on Trademark and Copyright: Dastar, Penguin-Shaped Cocktail Shakers and “Guilt by Resemblance”

When we decided to mark the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia by recounting a few of his copyright and trademark opinions, we were somewhat surprised to discover that there really hadn’t been that many. In fact, we located...more

Is Everything Going to Be OK? Whether Individual Emoji Are Copyrightable

The editors of Oxford Dictionaries recently named an emoji the word of the year in 2015. No, that is not a strange typo: The word of the year really was an emoji. But which one was it? While the title of the article displayed...more

Disney’s Influence on United States Copyright Law

If you’ve ever applied for, or researched copyright law, you likely learned one thing above all else: it’s not a perpetual right. So, how, you might wonder, have companies like The Walt Disney Company managed to maintain...more

What does it mean to circumvent a “Technological Protection Measure”?

Copyright attempts to balance the rights of authors with the rights of users. It’s this tension - copyrights vs. user rights - that makes copyright so fascinating (…to some people). In 2012, Parliament enacted some changes to...more

Copyright Protection in Canada for Artists

In Canada, “copyright” refers to the bundle of rights conferred by the Copyright Act (the Act) on the copyright owner and author of a work. The owner of copyright has the sole right to produce or reproduce a work (or a...more

No Monkeying Around: Judge Rules That Animals Cannot Hold Copyrights, Do Not Have Standing to Sue

In a recent hearing, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick III said he would dismiss a lawsuit brought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on behalf of Naruto, a crested macaque monkey. PETA’s suit...more

“Borrowing” Images for Presentations: Fair Use or Copyright Infringement?

Everyone loves a good joke, which is why presenters try to liven up an otherwise dull subject matter with stock cartoons, movie footage or other humorous material. This is particularly helpful after lunch breaks and, with...more

The Idea of Yoga Versus the Expression of It - Bikram’s Yoga College of India v. Evolation Yoga, LLC

Affirming the district court’s grant of partial summary judgment, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that a sequence of yoga poses and breathing exercises was directed to the idea or process of...more

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

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

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