News & Analysis as of

The Copyright Act

Louis Vuitton Not Liable for Attorneys’ Fees in Case of Parody Handbags

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

In January 2016 and January 2017, we blogged about a trademark and copyright dispute between Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. and My Other Bag, Inc. (“MOB”) over a line of canvas tote bags that parodied Louis Vuitton’s iconic...more

Copyright Basics

by Workman Nydegger on

Copyright protection is contemplated under the Constitution of the United States and governed by the U.S. Copyright Act. More specifically, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution includes...more

You can transfer a copyright without saying “copyright”

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

You may think there is one simple hard-and-fast rule of copyright law: you cannot transfer a copyright without a written instrument signed by the copyright owner. It’s right there in section 204 of the Copyright Act...more

MBHB Snippets: A review of developments in Intellectual Property Law - Volume 15, Issue 4

Patent Exhaustion: Supreme Court Expands Patent-Limiting Doctrine - The U.S. Supreme Court at the end of the past term handed down a decision, Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., that greatly expanded...more

The Legal Pitfalls Inherent in Using “Works Made for Hire” in California

by LeClairRyan on

Labor and employment issues are frequently triggered in the entertainment space, particularly in California. Some of these issues are well-known by practitioners in both areas of practice, while others can be a bit more...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

November 2017: Trademark & Copyright Litigation Update

When Is a Copyright Owner Allowed to Sue? The Supreme Court May Decide. A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 856 F.3d 1338...more

Copyright Appeal Considers “User-Generated Content”

by Field Law on

In 2015 an independent film-maker shot a film critical of the Vancouver aquarium, using some footage over which the Aquarium claimed copyright. The Aquarium moved to block the online publication of the film. Last year we...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

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

Standing to Sue for Copyright Infringement: No Bright Line Rule for Stock Photo Agencies

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Affirming a grant of summary judgment in favor of copyright defendants, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took up the “often litigated issue” of whether a stock photography agency has standing under the Copyright...more

Intellectual Property Meets Real Property: Recent Copyright Infringement Cases

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Two recent copyright infringement disputes involved the rare intersection of intellectual property with real property. In the first, the Ontario Court of Appeal determined who owned copyright in land surveys deposited with...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

December Deadline Approaches for Maintaining DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

Companies that wish to benefit from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA's) safe harbors for online service providers are required to use a new electronic system at the Copyright Office to designate an agent for the...more

Controversial “Gripe Site” Protected (Again) by the Communications Decency Act and Defeats Novel Copyright Attack with Website...

The controversial consumer gripe site, RipoffReport.com, is at it again. The First Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s ruling that RipoffReport.com was entitled to immunity under Section 230 of the Communications...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

Forget Prince; Minnesota Opens Courts to Hulk Hogans of the World with Revenge Porn Civil Action

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Recently, I attended the University of Minnesota’s celebration of “40 Years of Gopher Justice,” an event honoring the institution’s University Student Legal Service (“USLS”), a non-profit organization that provides UMN...more

No Fairytale Ending for Unauthorized Movie Streaming

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction against an online video streaming service, finding that the movie studio plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits for violations under the...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

Structural engineers score big as Federal Court recognizes and enforces copyright on structure of soccer complex

by Smart & Biggar on

On September 12, 2017, the Federal Court issued its decision in Lainco Inc v Commission Scolaire Des Bois-Francs et al, 2017 CF 825, confirming that the plaintiff’s steel structure for an indoor soccer complex could benefit...more

Ninth Circuit: Non-Exclusive Licensing Agent Has No Standing to Sue for Copyright Infringement

by Snell & Wilmer on

In DRK Photo v. McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that an Arizona stock photo agency could not sue McGraw-Hill under the Copyright Act for using images in textbooks without permission. The...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

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Divergent Extraterritorial Application of Lanham Act and Copyright Act

by Orrick - IP Landscape on

The question whether and under what circumstances the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act will be applied to conduct occurring at least partially outside the United States grows increasingly important as the world economy...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

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