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Tag Archives: Copyright Law

Copyright Infringement and the First Sale Defense

Posted in Copyright Law

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the case of Dolby Systems, Inc. v. Christenson, focuses primarily on the issue of which party bears the initial burden of proof with regard to a “first sale” defense in a copyright infringement action. As the reader will see, however, this case really provides a cautionary tale as to… Continue Reading

Five IP Pitfalls That Start-Up (and Grown Up) Companies Can Easily Avoid

Posted in Copyright Law, Legal Info, Patent Law, Trade Secrets, Trademark Law

In business, there are numerous opportunities for pitfalls, mistakes and errors and they come up in all different legal areas – from basic formation issues to labor and employment to intellectual property. Mistakes and missteps involving intellectual property can be particularly problematic because IP is a company asset; it constitutes a part of (often a… Continue Reading

ISPs That Ignore Notices From “Copyright Trolls” Risk Losing DMCA Safe Harbor Protections

Posted in Copyright Law, Uncategorized

Representing copyright owners attempting to enforce online infringement is often routine, but can sometimes prove challenging. This tends to be the case when a content owner is trying to address large scale infringement of one or multiple works. Most often ISPs are cooperative, but on occasion an ISP may resist responding to a content owner… Continue Reading

Yoga and the Copyright Idea/Expression Dichotomy

Posted in Copyright Law

Over the last half century there has been an explosion in the popularity of yoga in the United States, much of it attributable to Bikram Choudhury, the self-proclaimed “Yogi to the Stars.” In 1979, he published a book titled Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class, which centered on a sequence of 26 yoga poses and two breathing… Continue Reading

A Chicken Sandwich is Not Copyrightable – Really?

Posted in Copyright Law

As reported in Law 360 and other outlets, the First Circuit has ruled that a chicken sandwich, no matter how amazingly delicious it may be, cannot be copyrighted. A Puerto Rican epicure named Norberto Lorenzana argued that he created the “Pechu Sandwich” which is “a fried chicken breast patty, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, and garlic… Continue Reading

The Blurred Lines of an Infringement Action

Posted in Copyright Law

Many of you may be familiar with the pop hit “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Clifford Harris, more popularly known as T.I., and Pharrell Williams (the “Composers”).  If it does not sound familiar by title, perhaps you may recall it for its controversial nudity laden music video, or the fact that it was the song… Continue Reading

Cambridge v. Becker – A Copyright Win For Publishers or an Enlargement of Fair Use?

Posted in Copyright Law

Recently the 11th Circuit addressed on appeal the question of whether fair use insulates from copyright liability a University which offers to its students a digital repository of reading material culled from third party publications without the benefit of a license.   Three academic publishers filed suit against Georgia State University claiming that the University infringed… Continue Reading

What is and What Should Never Be: Led Zeppelin Not Feeling a Whole Lotta Love in Pennsylvania

Posted in Copyright Law

On May 31, 2014, members of the band Led Zeppelin and its publishers were sued for copyright infringement by Randy California, the former guitarist and front man of the band Spirit.  The lawsuit, filed in the state of Pennsylvania, alleges that a significant portion of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was stolen from “Taurus,” a song… Continue Reading

Vicarious Liability Under the Lanham Act: The Amazon Affiliate Case

Posted in Copyright Law

In a sensible decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Amazon.com Inc. is not vicariously liable for copyright infringement based upon the conduct of its Associates who use copyrighted photos without permission on their linked websites. This decision is particularly important because there are an increasing number of “copyright trolls” patrolling various… Continue Reading

Copyright Ownership Claim Of Pictures Taken By Wild Ape is Monkey Business

Posted in Copyright Law

Recently, Wikimedia (the entity behind Wikipedia) has refused repeated requests from professional photographer David Slater to remove from one of his most famous photos from its royalty free photo collection website.  The photo at issue is a “monkey selfie.” Slater claims he owns the copyright to the photo and Wikimedia is using it without his… Continue Reading

Raging Bull Revisited – Copyright Infringement and the Laches Defense

Posted in Copyright Law

This column addressed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the case Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., et al., approximately 18 months ago.  The Ninth Circuit held that the equitable defense of laches could be asserted to bar a claim for copyright infringement even if it was filed within the three-year statute of limitations.  As the column pointed… Continue Reading

STAYED TUNED FOR THE COURT’S DECISION IN ABC v. AEREO

Posted in Copyright Law

On April 22, 2014 the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of American Broadcasting Company (“ABC”) v. Aereo.  Although this case has been overshadowed by other matters on the Court’s docket and has received very little media attention, the Court’s decision will potentially have an impact on copyright law that is… Continue Reading

Will The Copyright Act be Amended to Include a “Making Available” Right

Posted in Copyright Law, Legal Info

Under the WIPO Internet Treaties, member states are required to recognize in their national laws  the exclusive right of  authors of works to ‘‘make [the works] available’’ and ‘‘communicate [the works] to the public’’, including through interactive platforms, such as the Internet. The United States implemented the WIPO Internet Treaties through the Digital Millennium Copyright… Continue Reading

Copyright Preemption and Its Interplay with Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Copyright Law, Trade Secrets

By: James Kachmar A recent decision in the case Jobscience, Inc. v. CVPartners, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2014) shows the interplay between the various theories of intellectual property claims. There, the plaintiff asserted claims for both copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation arising out of the alleged theft of its software code. The court… Continue Reading

GoldieBlox v. Beastie Boys – “Girls To Bring A Lawsuit”

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Trademark Law

 By: Scott Hervey From all appearances, it would have been a fight worth watching. In one corner was the Beastie Boys, the Brooklyn bread, 80s powerhouse rap group; they aggressively enforce their intellectual property rights and have never allowed their music to be used in advertisements.  (This commitment was so important to the group that in his… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Watch Out for Statute of Limitations for Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyright Law

 By: Audrey A. Millemann              In Seven Arts Filmed Entertainment, Ltd. v. Content Media Corp. PLC, 2013 US App. LEXIS 22517 (9th Cir., November 6, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an issue of first impression in this circuit: whether a claim of copyright infringement based on disputed ownership would be time-barred… Continue Reading