News & Analysis as of

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google,...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

Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc. - USDC, C.D. California, October 13, 2015

In copyright infringement action involving unlicensed use of humorous “viral videos,” district court denies copyright owner’s motion for partial summary judgment, concluding that all but one of allegedly infringing programs...more

Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment LTD. - USDC, S.D. New York, March 31, 2015

Adjmi v. DLT Entertainment LTD. - USDC, S.D. New York, March 31, 2015 - In Depth: District court grants declaratory judgment to playwright, holding that play’s dark and “nightmarish” theatrical take on iconic...more

Cariou v. Prince: A Controversial Redefining of the Distinction between Parody and Satire

The controversy that swirled around the 2013 Cariou v. Prince decision was once again ignited with the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC – a decision that, fairly or unfairly, took direct...more

A Circuit Split or Just a Surface-Blemish: Why Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC Doesn’t Conflict with Cariou v. Prince

Every day, attorneys argue whether appellate court opinions are wrong. But not every day do you get an appellate court criticizing the opinions of a sister court of appeals. ...more

Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts,...more

No Break from Prison for General Noriega As Black Ops II Is Cleared by Transformative Use Doctrine

If you were looking forward to regrouping your special forces mission on “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” without any further interference from Pineapple Face, your moment has arrived. The aforesaid Face, as former sword-waving...more

Transformative Use in the Seventh Circuit

Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment based on fair use, but cited different grounds than the district court and...more

Post-Alice Federal Circuit Finds Internet Advertising Method to Not Be Patent Eligible

Citing the Supreme Court of the United States’ Spring 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed itself and concluded that a claimed method for distributing online...more

The Transformative Nature of The Fair Use Doctrine: The On-going Debate

While the 7th Circuit, in Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC, 766 F.3d 756 (2014), affirmed a finding of fair use, the court’s analysis expresses skepticism about the approach used in Prince v. Cariou, 714 F.3d 694 (2013) and may...more

Litigation Alert: California Superior Court Finds Use of Likeness of Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega in Video Game...

Manuel Noriega v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. BC 551747 (Cal Super. Ct. filed October 27, 2014) - In recent years, federal and state courts have wrestled with how to assess right of publicity claims in the video...more

Another Step in the Long March from Campbell v. Acuff-Rose toward Fair Use Free-for-All?

TVEyes is a media-monitoring subscription service that “records the entire content of television and radio broadcasts and creates a searchable database of that content.” This service allows subscribers to search keywords or...more

Seventh Circuit Criticizes Second Circuit's "Transformative Use" Approach to Fair Use

On September 15, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a notable opinion on the relevance and importance of "transformative use" on the copyright fair use analysis. (Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC, No....more

7th Circuit Confirms That “Sorry for Partying” Is Fair Use; Questions Transformative Use Test

In 1969, while a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Paul Soglin was arrested at the first Mifflin Street Block Party, a student protest of the Vietnam War. Over forty years later when that same Paul Soglin (now...more

Publicity rights vs. the First Amendment

The right of publicity continues to emerge as a significant intellectual property right of which businesses must be aware—not only in the context of advertising and marketing, but in the context of a company’s product itself....more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- November 21, 2013

The Authors Guild Inc. v. Google Inc., USDC, S.D. New York, November 14, 2013 - District court grants Google’s summary judgment motion, holding that Google’s scanning and indexing of copyrighted books for its Google...more

Google Wins Summary Judgment in Books Case - Full Copying to Make Search Snippets Available to End-Users Held Fair Use

Round one of the long-fought Google Books case has ended in a summary judgment victory for defendant Google. The Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York held yesterday that Google’s copying, use,...more

Green Day Leaves Street Artists Screaming

Gone are the days where live music performances consist solely of flashing lights, backup dancers and pyrotechnics. Today’s artists utilize massive video screens to coordinate descriptive images with their music. The...more

Fair Use Revisited – What’s Transformative?

Last month, photographer Peter Cariou petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Second Circuit ruling in Cariou v. Prince, 714 F.3d 694 (2d Cir. 2013), a copyright infringement case, in which the Second Circuit held that...more

Advertising Law - Aug 29, 2013

Facebook Changes Its Promotion Guidelines - Sponsors can rejoice. Effective August 27, 2013, Facebook no longer requires that sweepstakes and contests be conducted on third party apps. By dispensing the apps...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- May 31, 2013

Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., U.S.C.A., Third Circuit, May 21, 2013 - Third Circuit reverses district court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing claim of plaintiff, former college football player, for violating his...more

Leggo My Likeness, Part Four

There are so many fun things you can do with celebrities. In addition to the traditional things like writing books about them, you can also use their catchphrases to make greeting cards; make movies about them using puppets;...more

Electronic Arts Takes One In The Kisser

For some time now, Electronic Arts–purveyor of sports video games–has been embroiled in disputes relating to using the likenesses of former college athletes without providing them appropriate remuneration. There has been the...more

Athletes’ Rights of Publicity Trump First Amendment in Video Game Context

In a recent 62-page decision by the Third Circuit, obviously intended to give guidance in an unclear area of the law, the rights of publicity of a college athlete in a video game trumped the First Amendment arguments of the...more

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