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Tag Archives: Copyright Law

Revisiting the “Safe Harbor” Provisions of the DMCA

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law, Web/Tech

By: James Kachmar In late December, the Ninth Circuit revisited the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in the case UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., 101 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1001. Veoh is a web service that allows users to view videos uploaded by other users.   Veoh was sued for copyright infringement… Continue Reading

The “Fair Use” Doctrine in Copyright Infringement Actions

Posted in Copyright Law

  By: David Muradyan   The Copyright Act of 1976 provides copyright protection for original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression forthe owner’s literary, musical, artistic and other works. Owners of copyrights have a number of exclusive rights, including the right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies, to prepare derivative… Continue Reading

Hollywood and Silicon Valley Spar Over Proposed “Stop Online Piracy Act”

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law, Web/Tech

By Zachary Wadlé On Oct. 26, 2011, the Stop Online Piracy Act “SOPA” (H.R. 3261) was introduced in the United States House of Representatives. One of SOPA’s primary goals is to address the continuing problem of online digital piracy of counterfeit movie, music, and other copyrightable works engaged in through foreign websites.  The 1998 Digital Millennium… Continue Reading

Elvis Has Left The Building

Posted in Copyright Law

by Dale Campbell The long-held rule in the Ninth Circuit was that a plaintiff, in a copyright infringement claim, is presumed to have suffered irreparable harm upon a showing of likelihood of success. (Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. Passport Video, 249 F.3d 622, 627 (9th Cir. 2003).) Two Supreme Court decisions cast doubt on the continued liability of… Continue Reading

Apple Wins Pivotal Software Licensing Lawsuit

Posted in Copyright Law

By Nathan Geronimo In a recent opinion, the Ninth Circuit clarified the defense of copyright misuse, finding the defense inapplicable in a dispute between Apple Inc. and Psystar Corp. Apple, one of the most prolific software producers in the world, sued Psystar for copyright infringement based on Psystar’s practice of copying Apple’s Mac OS X… Continue Reading

The Copyright Misuse Defense & Apple’s Software License Agreements

Posted in Copyright Law

By James Kachmar The affirmative defense of copyright misuse is a court-created affirmative defense to copyright infringement which flows from a similar defense in patent litigation. In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court in Morton Salt Co. v. GS Suppiger Co. recognized the affirmative defense of patent misuse where a patent holder attempted to maintain an… Continue Reading

Macho Man: Village People Singer Battles Record Companies over Copyright Termination Rights

Posted in Copyright Law

By Jeffrey Pietsch The last decade has been tough for record companies. Record sales drastically fell with the advent of the internet and with the prevalence of unauthorized music downloading. Now, the record companies face a new foe in the Copyright Act of 1976 (“Copyright Act”). Under the Copyright Act, artists are able to exercise… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Says No Presumption of Irreparable Harm in Copyright Infringement Cases

Posted in Copyright Law

By Nathan Geronimo Until recently, if a plaintiff in a copyright infringement case sought an injunction against continued infringement, a reasonable showing that plaintiff was likely to prevail on the merits of the infringement claim gave rise to a presumption of irreparable harm, which is a necessary element a plaintiff must prove in order for… Continue Reading

The Trouble With Torrents

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law

Most of us easily will recall one of the first uses of the internet: Napster. While Napster thrilled users with the prospect of “free” music and the ability to locate those obscure songs you thought were lost when your last vinyl LP record broke, its widespread use was devastating to the retail music industry and infuriated… Continue Reading

No First Sale Defense on Foreign-Made Copies

Posted in Copyright Law

By Jeff Pietsch and Fabiola Larios In a 4 to 4 split per curiam decision, the United States Supreme Court recently affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp. which held that the first sale doctrine is not a defense to infringement claims on products imported in an… Continue Reading

At Some Point, Litigation Must Come To an End

Posted in Copyright Law, Trade Secrets, Web/Tech

By Dale Campbell The Ninth Circuit has attempted to end the disputes arising from the creation of Facebook. As dramatized in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins and other Harvard graduates claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them. The Winklevosses claimed they conceived and created the idea for a social… Continue Reading

Google Books Settlement Rejected By Court

Posted in Copyright Law

By Zachary Wadlé When Google was initially formed in 1998, it announced ambitious plans to digitally scan all of the world’s existing books and make them accessible to users of Google’s internet search engine.  By 2004, Google announced that it had partnered with several large research libraries around the world to scan their collections.  Google’s… Continue Reading

Copyright Troll Loses on Fair Use Claim

Posted in Copyright Law

By Jeffrey Pietsch Last month, the United States District Court in Nevada found that a non-profit that reposted in its entirety an article originally published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal did not infringe on the owner’s copyright under fair use grounds.  The court’s decision was likely influenced by the copyright holder’s business as a serial… Continue Reading

How to Perfect a Security Interest in Intellectual Property (Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents)

Posted in Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law

by David Muradyan   When a creditor provides a loan to a debtor, the debtor will often grant to the creditor a security interest in the debtor’s collateral, including the debtor’s intellectual property. A creditor who receives a security interest in the debtor’s intellectual property, usually by a security agreement, must perfect the security interest… Continue Reading

“Fair Use”: An Affirmative Defense to “Copyright Infringement”

Posted in Copyright Law

by David Muradyan A copyright is a form of protection afforded to owners of “original works of authorship” for the owner’s literary, musical, artistic and other works. Owners of copyrights have a number of exclusive rights, including the right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies, to prepare derivative works based upon the work, and… Continue Reading

Betty Boop and Chain of Title Issues

Posted in Copyright Law

By James Kachmar On February 23, 2011, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in a case involving the Betty Boop cartoon character titled: Fleischer Studios, Inc. v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc., et al. In that case, heirs of the creator of the Betty Boop cartoon claimed that defendants, which were marketing products with Betty Boop’s image, were liable… Continue Reading

United Fabrics v. Macys and the Presumption of Copyright Ownership

Posted in Copyright Law

by James Kachmar United Fabrics International, Inc. (“United Fabrics”) manufactures a collection of fabric designs titled “Ethnic Collection X” to which it holds a copyright. As part of that collection, United Fabrics purchased a fabric design from an Italian design house and then modified the purchase design. It then sued Macy’s (and several others) for infringing on… Continue Reading

Common Copyright Myths

Posted in Copyright Law

Over the last several years as I have interviewed clients, lectured students, and otherwise engaged in discussions relating to intellectual property, specifically copyrights, I have found that people have more misconceptions about copyright law than most other areas of law.  Although many of these misconceptions, or myths, have their origin in a kernel of truth,… Continue Reading

“First Sale” doctrine allows radio disc jockeys and music critics who are provided with promotional CDs to resell such CDs without infringing the copyright holder’s copyright in those CDs

Posted in Copyright Law, Entertainment Law

by David Muradyan Do promotional CDs sent by music recording companies to radio disc jockeys and music critics which contain labels restricting distribution of the CDs and purport to create a license agreement actually create a license agreement between the recording company and the recipient, thereby rendering inapplicable the “first sale” doctrine—an affirmative defense to… Continue Reading

Technicalities Surrounding Statutory Damages Under The Copyright Act Trigger Suit Against Law Firm Prosecuting Online Infringement Actions

Posted in Copyright Law, Cyberspace Law, Entertainment Law

  By Scott Hervey The motion picture industry’s battle against cyber piracy took an interesting twist when an individual who allegedly engaged in the illegal downloading of the movie Far Cry filed a lawsuit against the Copyright Group and the law firm that has filed numerous suits against thousands of alleged infringers.  To date, the… Continue Reading

ivi TV – New Media Revolutionary or Copyright Infringer?

Posted in Copyright Law

By: Matthew Massari and Scott Hervey ivi, Inc. is either an Internet television revolutionary, or just another soon-to-be defunct Internet copyright pirate. The Seattle-based start-up is taking on television content owners and broadcast giants in order to find out.  In a suit filed in federal district court for the Western District of Washington in late September,… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Settles District Court Split on Copyright Filing as a Prerequisite to an Infringement Suit

Posted in Copyright Law

By: David Muradyan 17 U.S.C. § 411(a) requires one to register their copyright prior to filing a copyright infringement lawsuit. What does it mean to “register” one’s work?  Is a copyright registered at the time the copyright holder’s application is received by the Copyright Office (the “application approach”), or at the time that the Copyright Office acts… Continue Reading