News & Analysis as of

The Copyright Act

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

Coming Into Focus: Recent Decisions Help Define the Scope of Right of Publicity Claims

by Jackson Walker on

When it comes to the right of publicity, it helps to keep tabs on California law. The right to prevent the unauthorized commercial use of a person’s name, likeness or other indicia of identity may vary from state-to-state....more

What are Grounds for Copyright Registration Denial?

by Revision Legal on

Copyright law protects any creative/artistic work as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium. As the owner of the creative/artistic work, you own a variety of rights associated with your work, including the exclusive right...more

4 Key Takeaways: Consulting Agreements – Who Owns the IP?

Silicon Valley-based Kilpatrick Townsend Counsel Alan Dow focuses his practice on patent prosecution, acquisition and counseling, and on intellectual property and commercial transactions. Mr. Dow recently presented on...more

Media Law Bulletin: “All I’ve Got Is a Photograph” — Copyright Law’s Preemption of Right of Publicity Claims

by Sedgwick LLP on

The names and likenesses of celebrities, athletes and other public figures can be extremely valuable, as evidenced by the premium prices paid by many companies for celebrity endorsements and celebrity-branded goods. Think...more

Graffiti Artists Tag Camuto Fashion House for Copyright Infringement

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Earlier this month, four Los Angeles-based graffiti artists, “Rime,” “Host18,” “Taboo” and “Reme” filed suit against the Vince Camuto fashion house and related entities alleging copyright infringement for “inexplicably...more

Copyright Protection for Tattoos: Are Tattoos Copies?

by Downey Brand LLP on

Abstract - This Note argues that, although “flash art” and other drawings upon which a tattoo may be based are likely copyrightable subject matter under the Copyright Act of 1976 (Copyright Act), the policy implications...more

University's Infringing Reproductions Fall Short of Fair Dealing

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The fair dealing user right, as an exception to copyright infringement, has its limits. The fact that a use falls within an enumerated purpose under the Copyright Act is no guarantee of immunity from infringement. To avoid...more

Diddy’s @Infringement Instagram Post

by Weintraub Tobin on

In today’s age of rapid fire social media, posting to feed the ever growing hunger of a digitally connected audience has become second nature to celebrities and other influencers. In fact, the larger the number of followers,...more

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