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Tag Archives: Copyright Law

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

Weaving a Trademark

Posted in Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law

 By: Lisa Y. Wang This month, the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board ruled that Bottega Veneta, a luxury Italian fashion brand, well known for its "weave design" handbags and accessories, could register a trademark for that specific design. Bottega Veneta handbags and accessories do not have obvious logos on the outside, signifying its origin. Instead, the weave… Continue Reading

Roots, Reggae, Remixes – and Litigation

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By James Kachmar The great reggae musician Bob Marley passed away more than 30 years ago. Nevertheless, litigation surrounding his music legacy continues on. The Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion in Rock River Communications, Inc. v. Universal Music Group, Inc. that dealt again with the issue of who owns the rights to Mr. Marley’s music.  Rock River… Continue Reading

A Dress’ Trade Dress

Posted in Copyright Law

By Lisa Y. Wang As New York Fashion Week carries on, so does fashion litigation. One brand that is constantly “copied” is Herve Leger, famous for their bandage dress. While a Herve Leger bandage dress can cost you thousands, stores and brands all over have copied the style and sold their own versions of the bandage dress for… Continue Reading

Craigslist Content Aggregator Continues To Face Copyright Infringement and CFAA Claims

Posted in Copyright Law

By Scott Hervey Craigslist operates one of the most well known and widely-used online classified ad services.  Craigslist claims that more than 60 million Americans visit and use Craigslist each month, and they collectively post several hundred million classified ads each year.  3Taps is a technology company that aggregates and republishes real time ads from… Continue Reading

Character Copyright — Is Sherlock Holmes in the Public Domain?

Posted in Copyright Law

By Anji Mandavia Currently pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is a case that will determine whether the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has any remaining copyright interest in the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes, and his friend and companion in sleuthing, Dr. John Watson.    The fictional detective… Continue Reading

A Celebrity’s Right of Publicity

Posted in Copyright Law

By Lisa Y. Wang In March 2013, pop star Rihanna filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against TopShop, the enormously popular fast fashion chain, for using an "unflattering" image of her on one of their t-shirts without her permission (the offending t-shirt can be seen here). Rihanna is claiming £3.5 million in damages (U.S. $5… Continue Reading

Hopping Into A Lawsuit

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By Lisa Y. Wang Back in the day when I used a VCR to record TV shows (one that forwarded through commercials by itself no less), it was impossible to imagine that something like TiVo and DVRs would be in over 50% of American homes. In May 2012, Dish Network took digital recording a step further. Its… Continue Reading

Jersey Boys, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Fair Use Doctrine

Posted in Copyright Law

By  James Kachmar The fair use doctrine is a defense that a defendant may raise in a copyright infringement action when an otherwise copyrighted work is used for purposes “such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching …, scholarship or research.”  (17 U.S.C. §107.)  Although Congress has listed four factors to guide courts in their analysis… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Clarifies the Application of the “First Sale” Doctrine to Copyrighted Works Manufactured Abroad

Posted in Copyright Law

By Anji Mandavia The big news in copyright jurisprudence is, of course, last week’s landmark ruling in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, in which the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, definitively ruled that the “first sale” doctrine — which allows the owner of a copyrighted good to sell or dispose of that particular… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Considerations: Proof of Registration

Posted in Copyright Law

By Nathan Geronimo In order to establish a claim for copyright infringement, a party must establish two essential elements: (1) ownership of a valid copyright; and (2) copying of original elements of the work.  Additionally, registration of a copyright is a prerequisite for filing a claim for copyright infringement.  To register a copyright, the owner of… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement and Personal Jurisdiction

Posted in Copyright Law

  By James Kachmar Personal jurisdiction is an issue that a court must typically decide in determining whether it can hear a case brought against a nonresident defendant, for instance, when a resident of Nevada is sued in a California court. Unless a defendant has “continuous and systematic” contacts with a forum state, personal jurisdiction is… Continue Reading

Is it the Twilight of a New Era for the First Sale Doctrine?

Posted in Copyright Law

Imagine you just finished reading your favorite book series about vampires and werewolves, which you purchased at Costco at a significant discount.  Or perhaps you bought your favorite Dracula knockoff on eBay from an overseas retailer.  Finding no need to re-read the books, or re-watch the movies, you decide to recoup some of your hard-earned… Continue Reading


Posted in Copyright Law

By: Dale C. Campbell  The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument last month in the Kirtsaeg v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. case that may finally determine if the First-Sale Doctrine in copyright law applies to goods manufactured outside of the United States.  The holder of a U. S. copyright has the “exclusive rights . …. Continue Reading

Evergreen – Copyright Infringement, Laches and the Willful Infringement Exception

Posted in Copyright Law

By: James Kachmar Frequent readers of this column will recall our discussions concerning the defense of laches in copyright infringement actions. Last month, the Ninth Circuit revisited this issue and considered the willful infringement exception to the laches defense in the case, Evergreen Safety Council v. RSA Network, Inc. Evergreen and RSA are both involved in… Continue Reading

Copyrights and the Work for Hire Doctrine

Posted in Copyright Law

By: James Kachmar The Ninth Circuit recently revisited the “Work Made for Hire” Doctrine in connection with a copyright infringement case in US Auto Parts Network, Inc. v. Parts Geek, LLC.  The Ninth Circuit concluded that an employer can be the owner of copyrighted material when it is prepared by an employee in the course… Continue Reading

Aging Bull? Laches Still a Valid Defense to Copyright Infringement Claims (For Now)

Posted in Copyright Law

By: Nathan Geronimo In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment based on the doctrine of laches.  But Justice Fletcher, in a concurring opinion, stressed the fact that the Court’s application of the doctrine to copyright infringement cases was out of step with decisions in other federal circuits,… Continue Reading

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles Runs Afoul Of Music Publishers

Posted in Copyright Law

By: Scott Hervey  Businesses that feature music, either in the background, through a DJ, or live, must secure a public performance license from one or both of the major U.S. performance rights organizations, ASCAP and BMI.  The corporate operator of the Southern California chain of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, East Coast Foods, Inc.,… Continue Reading

Recording Industry Braces For Potential Impact of 1976 Copyright Act Termination Rights

Posted in Copyright Law

By: Zachary Wadlé The recording industry has been hard hit over the past decade.  With the advent of mp3s, iPods, and iTunes, the entire industry business model has been upended.  Unfortunately for record labels, the hits just may keep on coming.  Courtesy of the Copyright Act of 1976, record labels could soon lose copyrights over… Continue Reading

All we need is just a little (more) patience — Sync license dispute threatens to derail any hope of Guns N’ Roses Reunion Show

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

By: Zachary Wadlé On April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio, iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The induction comes 25 years after original members Axl Rose (lead vocals), Saul Hudson aka “Slash” (lead guitar), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), and Steven Adler… Continue Reading

Restaurants and Bars Beware: Failure to Obtain a License to Play a Copyrighted Music May Expose you to Substantial Damages

Posted in Copyright Law

By: David Muradyan   Restaurants, bars, night clubs and similar establishments who play copyrighted music or have live performers play the compositions from copyrighted music should pay particular attention to a recent Ninth Circuit case, where the court awarded plaintiffs statutory damages as well as substantial attorney’s fees. In Range Road Music, Inc. et al…. Continue Reading