News & Analysis as of

Copyright Litigation

The World In U.S. Courts - Fall 2017

FSIA Does Not Exempt US Bank from Subpoena for Production of Records of Accounts Maintained by Central Bank of Nigeria - The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2017 - Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA)/Political Question Doctrine....more

When is a Copyright “Registered” for Purposes of Filing Suit?

On May 18, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a copyright infringement complaint and added further to a circuit split on when copyright “registration” occurs for purpose of filing a copyright infringement...more

Sixth Circuit Suggests Liability for Copyright Infringement May Justify Reduced First Amendment Protection for Anonymous Speech,...

by Reed Smith on

Ruling on what it characterized as an issue of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit suggested that a judgment of liability in a copyright infringement case may be a tipping point justifying the...more

CJEU rules on Cloud Recorder: Transmission constitutes a communication to the public that requires the right holders consent

by Hogan Lovells on

On 29 November 2017, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) handed down a decision on a video recording service that stores TV programmes online in a cloud (C-265/16 – VCAST). ...more

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney Sued Over Frozen Song “Let It Go”

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, and Disney are amongst the defendants who were sued over the hit song, “Let It Go,” featured in the popular 2013 Disney film, Frozen....more

Can a Software Developer Copyright the Output of Its Software?

As technology becomes increasingly advanced and complex, it seems that a new software emerges every day to perform some novel function. Whether it is computer generated imagery (CGI) or deciphering a code in a bible, software...more

Call It What You Want. Just Don’t Call It Copyright Infringement.

by Weintraub Tobin on

A demand letter is a formal way of telling someone, “now we got bad blood.” Recently, a Northern California blogger received a demand letter in which Taylor Swift threatened to sue the blogger. In so many words, the blogger...more

Journalism Organization Petitions for Resolution of the Copyright Application v. Registration Debate

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

The registration requirement in the Copyright Act is a well-known subject of debate, and the Eleventh Circuit recently joined the fray by siding with the registration approach camp. ...more

He Who Lives by the Suit, Dies by the Suit

CBS Broadcasting Inc. has sued photographer Jon Tannen for posting still images from the Gunsmoke episode “Dooley Surrenders,” first aired on March 8, 1958. Online postings of images from classic television is fairly common,...more

Fleeing The Swarm

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

Order Adopting in Part Report and Recommendation, Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims, Denying Motion for Default Judgment, and Denying Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Claims, LHF Productions,...more

Florida Supreme Court Denies Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings Predating Coverage Under the Federal Copyright Act

by Reed Smith on

In a major victory for media and broadcast entities, the Supreme Court of Florida recently established that Florida law does not recognize exclusive copyright protections for sound recordings that were “fixed” before February...more

Will SCOTUS Resolve The Copyright Registration Debate?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Last month, a journalism collective called the Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. (“Fourth Estate”) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review a decision issued by the Eleventh Circuit involving the question of when...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | November 2017

NOSB Votes to Continue Allowing Hydroponics - The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has reportedly voted to continue allowing food grown in water-based nutrient solutions to be labeled “organic,” rejecting a...more

Say Cheese: Stock Photos, Non-Exclusivity & Copyright Infringement

by Weintraub Tobin on

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed an issue as to who may pursue claims for copyright infringement concerning stock photos in the case DRK Photo v. McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC, et al. (Sept. 12, 2017). ...more

Florida Now Follows New York to Find No Common Law Public Performance Right For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

A few months ago, we brought to your attention a case initiated by The Turtles, seeking royalties in New York for the unauthorized performance of their pre-1972 sound recordings. In that decision, the Court of Appeals of New...more

The Southern District of New York Finds “Work Made For Hire” Under Italian Copyright Law

Musical scores incorporated into films are usually produced with the specific film in mind. In the U.S., we call such works “works made for hire,” meaning that the artist does not retain authorship rights to the music....more

Posner On Copyright: 10 Cases To Remember

When Judge Richard Allen Posner abruptly retired from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last month, we were so caught off guard that it took a few weeks to get our tribute machine up and running. Why a tribute to Posner...more

Judge Agrees – YouTube Mockery Protected By Fair Use

by Reed Smith on

Readers may be aware of YouTube celebrity couple Ethan and Hila Klein, better known by their social media moniker @h3h3productions. They rose to Internet fame producing comedic “reaction” videos that ridicule and comment upon...more

Copyrighting Design Elements of a “Useful Item”: Lessons From Star Athletica

by Revision Legal on

In general, no copyright protection is available for the design of something that is “useful.” “Useful” is defined by the Copyright Act as something with “an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the...more

Fashion Design Copyright Infringement Victory - BB&K Partner Henry Welles Wins Fashion Industry Clothing IP Case

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A fashion clothing industry copyright infringement appeal was won by Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Henry Welles, who represented Natural Fashions, Inc., which does business as Anu. The case was originally brought in federal...more

German Federal Court Rules On Google’s Image Search – Thumbnails III

by Hogan Lovells on

On 21 September 2017, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) handed down a judgment of utmost importance for the exploitation of copyright on the Internet. It will become known and referred to under the name...more

“Uptown Funk” Facing Copyright Allegation by 80s Funk Band

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Same song, different lawsuit. Music producer Mark Ronson is battling another lawsuit over his hit single, “Uptown Funk,” this time, accusing him of using elements of Zapp & Roger’s (“Zapp”) 1980 funk track, “More Bounce to...more

Mark Ronson Sued For Infringing 80’s Funk “Masterpiece”

by Brooks Pierce on

On September 12, 2017, the publisher of the legendary song “More Bounce to the Ounce” filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against music producer Mark Ronson. The suit alleges that Ronson’s hit song “Uptown Funk,” which has...more

Monkey See, Monkey Do… Monkey Own? The Curious Case of Naruto v. Slater

by Hogan Lovells on

When wildlife photographer David Slater set up his camera in the rainforests of Indonesia, he hardly expected to ignite a copyright battle with a monkey. Nonetheless, the legal dispute between Slater and Naruto, a crested...more

Joy in Who-Ville? Playwright Wins Fair Use Copyright Dispute in Parody of “Grinch”

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

It’s not quite what Dr. Seuss envisioned: Kind-hearted and cheerful Cindy-Lou Who from the childhood classic “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” becomes a cynical adult who was thrown in prison after murdering her abusive...more

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