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Copyright Fair Use

A Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work to license, copy, sell, distribute, or otherwise exploit the work for his or her own benefit.

October 2017: Entertainment Litigation

New Frontiers in Fan Fiction? Among the most common trends in modern entertainment are “fan art” and “fan fiction.” From movies like Star Wars, to book series like Harry Potter, to epic television shows like Game of Thrones,...more

“The Cosby Show” Producer Demands BBC Foot The Bill For Using Show Clips In Documentary Exposé

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Former American icon Bill Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting at least sixty women over five decades, according to Time Magazine. But the Carsey-Werner Company, which produced Cosby’s hit sitcom “The Cosby Show”,...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

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

In the Winter 2017 edition of the Intellectual Property Bulletin, we reported on IP-related changes expected with the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress. Here we look at two such changes currently underway:...more

Copyright Fair Use in the Land of Famous Potatoes

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

It isn’t all that often that copyright decisions get handed down by the federal district court in the great state of Idaho, so the recent decision in James Castle Collection v. Scholastic, Inc. caught our attention. The...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

Fair use is never simple

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

To secure evidence for an anticipated lawsuit against TV host Dr. Phil McGraw, a producer for the show, Leah Rothman, recorded nine seconds of the show’s unaired archive footage onto her cellphone....more

Making Fair Use of the Super Bowl Trademark

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune continued the growing drum beat of understandable excitement for Super Bowl LII, as it steadily approaches U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis....more

The Grinch loses and protection of parody wins

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Someone once said make sure your words are sweet as you may have to eat them. In the attached decision, the Judge finds the play "Who’s Holiday" is a parody entitled to fair use. He grants Plaintiffs’ motion for judgment on...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

Taking His Talents To The Southern District Of New York: Are LeBron James’ Tattoos Subject To Copyright?

by Weintraub Tobin on

With nearly 30% of Americans sporting at least one tattoo (up from 20% just four years ago), tattoos are becoming commonplace. This is even clearer among younger Americans, with nearly half of Millennials sporting ink. ...more

“Let’s Play:” DMCA Takedown Notices and Game Developer Acquiescence

There is an entire gaming sub-culture developed around watching others play video games. I’m not talking about gathering around the Game Cube in your friend’s basement and passing the only controller. “Let’s Play” videos...more

Dr. Phil and His Texas-Sized Copyright Victory in the Lone Star State: Is This “EDTX 2.0” After TC Heartland?

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

And just like that, it was over. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group sun-setted the reign of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas as the country’s busiest (and arguably,...more

9th Circuit’s VidAngel decision vindicates lawful video filtering service

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Some have cast the Disney v. VidAngel proceeding, decided August 24 by the 9th Circuit, as the “big studios” versus the “little guy”; the movie studios’ collective effort to kill filtering. This is far from the truth....more

Out-of-CTRL C

CTRL C and CTRL V (copy/paste) are widely used keyboard commands to add interesting content to emails, newsletters and slide decks. Everyone does it, so it must be okay, right? Not quite....more

Dr. Phil Serves Bitter Pill To Woman Who Stole Nine Seconds Of Footage

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Television host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw got just what the doctor ordered when a district court in Texas awarded summary judgment on Dr. Phil’s copyright claim against the woman who sued him in 2015 for alleged false...more

A Copyright Fable: Debunking The “Seven-Second Rule”

If you are a television news producer or documentary filmmaker, you have almost certainly faced this issue: You are putting together a story about a past event, and you want to make the point that this past event was once the...more

Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

by Snell & Wilmer on

In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service. Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed...more

A Bold Victory for Copyright Fair Use

Get your webcams ready: the reaction video genre got a huge shot in the arm from the Southern District of New York this week. h3h3 Productions, a popular YouTube channel with well over four million subscribers, has been...more

Is 2 seconds of television time too much to be a fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

In a recent episode of "48 Hours," CBS displayed – for two seconds – a copyrighted photograph taken by Steven Hirsch. He sued for copyright infringement. A federal court in Manhattan denied CBS’s motion to dismiss, finding...more

Creator Of NBA 2K16 Warns Tattoo Lawsuit Could Leave Lasting Impression

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

A multi-million dollar lawsuit for copyright infringement against Take Two Software, the creators of NBA 2K16 has proved to be anything but a slam dunk. The alleged infringement concerns player avatars displaying tattoos...more

Update: Court finds transformative nature of alleged infringing work can’t be decided by side-by-side comparison

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Adding an Instagram border and a few “gobbledygook” notations to an original photograph is not transformative as a matter of law. In an update to our post on a case filed last year, a federal court in New York recently denied...more

The Grinch that stole fair use?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Since the Supreme Court’s 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music landmark decision, courts have expanded fair use protection. While not a license to take liberally from another work, the fair use test has often tilted in favor of...more

Advertising Law - August 2017

U.K. to Ban Gender Stereotypes in Ads - Gender stereotypes in advertising will be banned as a result of new guidelines that will be promulgated by the main advertising regulators in the United Kingdom and go into effect in...more

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