The Copyright Act Copyright

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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

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 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

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

Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Supreme Court Sets Standard for Attorney Fee Awards in Copyright Cases

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that in considering whether to award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party as an element of “costs” under the Copyright Act, a court should give substantial weight...more

Objective Reasonableness Can Be Central to Fee-Shifting Analysis in Copyright Cases

In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court clarified the test for awarding attorney’s fees when applying the Copyright Act’s discretionary fee-shifting provision, 17 U.S.C. § 505. The Court held that the...more

“Objective Reasonableness” is a Primary Factor, But Not the Sole Factor, When Determining a Fee Award in a Copyright Case

FACTS: John Wiley & Sons (“Wiley”) filed a lawsuit against Supap Kirtsaeng (“Kirtsaeng”) when it discovered that Kirtsaeng’s family and friends abroad were purchasing Wiley textbooks at a discounted rate and shipping them to...more

The Double-Edged Sword: Supreme Court Holds “Objective Reasonableness” Important But Not Dispositive in Copyright Act Fee Awards

It is a common misperception that a party will automatically recover its attorneys’ fees if it prevails in an action for copyright infringement. First, certain statutory requirements must be met in order to qualify for the...more

"Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees Under the Copyright Act"

On June 16, 2016, in an 8-0 decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 579 U.S. __, the U.S. Supreme Court held that when district courts determine whether or not to award discretionary attorney fees to prevailing...more

Supreme Court: Courts Must Take into Account “Relevant Factors” before Awarding Fees in Copyright Cases

Supap Kirtsaeng realized he could buy cheaper, identical textbooks in Thailand and resell them for a profit in the U.S. John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of some of these textbooks, sued him for copyright infringement. ...more

VARA Claim over 16th Century Spanish Galleon Replica Goes Up in Smoke

The Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) protects a “work of visual art” from “intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification.” VARA defines what a work of visual art is, and also what it isn’t. A painting, drawing...more

Broadcasters obtain injunction in bid to stem “emerging trend” of pre-loaded set-top boxes

The Federal Court of Canada recently granted three large broadcasters an order for an injunction* against retailers of pre-loaded “plug-and-play” set-top boxes.  The apps pre-loaded on the boxes allow consumers to access TV...more

California District Court Puts Baby In A Corner

In the United States, federal laws take precedence over state law and common law causes of action where there is an overlap. This lesson was recently learned again in Lions Gate Entertainment Inc v TD Ameritrade Services...more

Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons Inc. - USCA, Sixth Circuit, May 16, 2016

Sixth Circuit concludes that author’s 1975 assignment of gospel song “I’ll Fly Away” was subject to 2008 termination notice, notwithstanding subsequent 1979 assignment of rights by late composer’s wife....more

Comic-Con, Costumes, and Copyright Concerns

Get ready, nerds! This summer’s Comic-Con season is almost upon us and your costume is not going to make itself. But before you squeeze into your tights and cape, do you need to worry about copyright infringement? This blog...more

Death Knell for Knockoffs and Counterfeits?

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Define the Test for Copyrightability of Designs on Useful Articles - The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the question that, as one Appellate Court characterized, has had the...more

Protecting Fashion through Copyrights: The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Cheer Uniform Designs Are Protectable

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will address the issue whether apparel can be protected by copyright law—a question described by the petitioners in the case as “the single most vexing, unresolved question...more

Give me an S-C-O-T-U-S! Supreme Court To Decide Apparel Copyright Case

Straight off the heels of a 2-1 Sixth Circuit decision protecting copyright in design elements of cheerleading uniforms, the U.S. Supreme Court today decided to consider the issue of when a useful article is protectable under...more

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

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