Tag Archives: Copyrights

DOMA goes down – Copyright goes up – U.S. v. Windsor, Supreme Court, No. 12-307, decided June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court today handed down a far reaching decision throwing out an attempt by Congress to deny the benefits conferred by federal law on same sex couples legally married under state law holding that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), as so applied, constituted a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons protected by … Continue Reading

Thin Copyrights – Protected But Not Infringed

Blehm v. Jacobs, 10th Cir., No. 11-1479, December 27, 2012 Some appellate decisions are worth examining because they plow new ground. Others serve to explain the ground that was plowed. This decision – dealing with substantial similarity (or lack thereof) between two sets of stick figures – is among the latter.… Continue Reading

Are Formats The Floor Mats Of Copyright?

By Edwin Komen On Friday afternoon, June 15, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess, Central District of California in Los Angeles, denied CBS Broadcasting’s application for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented ABC from airing the premier broadcast of its new reality series “Glass House”. CBS complained that “Glass House” infringed … Continue Reading

A Copyright Office Double-Header

By Edwin Komen The Copyright Office recently published two little-noticed, but potentially far-reaching, announcements in the Federal Register. Collectively they tend to restrict the definitions of “claimant” and “compilation” for purposes of copyright registration. The first, noticed as a rulemaking subject to public comment, issued on May 17, 2012, 77 Fed. Reg. 29257 with written comments … Continue Reading

The Relevance of ‘Reasonable Royalties’ to Copyright Infringement

By Robert Gerber and Michael Murphy Recent cases reveal that seeking a reasonable royalty as a copyright remedy can be an uncertain endeavor. Courts have differed regarding which evidentiary factors are relevant and necessary. Parties seeking to apply the reasonable royalty analysis frequently used in the patent litigation arena have sometimes found themselves successful, and … Continue Reading

Tweet Me! – The Southern District of New York Answers Copyright Questions Raised By Twitter and Twitpic Use

Social media has become a part of everyday life. As Shakespeare has written: "This news is not old enough, yet it is every day news." The minutiae of every moment is narrated through status updates. Digital photographs are taken and instantaneously posted minute-by-minute on the Internet for the world to see. This lightning fast use of social media … Continue Reading

Trademarks In The Veldt: Do Virtual Lawyers Dream Of Electric Trademarks?

In Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash, humans interact as avatars in the “Metaverse,” the collective product of online shared three-dimensional space.[1] As imagined by Stephenson, this “Metaverse” has been created by all virtual worlds[2] – it is an augmented and enhanced physical reality, a physically persistent virtual space.[3] The novel is set … Continue Reading

China Revamps Its Outdated Copyright Pledges System

The State Copyright Bureau recently released a new set of copyright pledges registration rules to replace its current system. The "Measures for Registration of Copyright Pledges" (the "Measures") will become effective on January 1, 2011. Copyrights, like other property rights, can be pledged as a financial security. China has not updated its current copyright pledges registration … Continue Reading

The Innovative Design Protection and Privacy Prevention Act: Will Design Protection Be In Vogue in Congress?

On August 6, 2010 Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), introduced a bill entitled the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act ("IDPPPA") (S. 3728), which represents a compromise between the American Apparel & Footwear Association ("AAFA") and the Council of Fashion Designers of America ("CFDA") in an effort to afford protection to American designers for new … Continue Reading

Sublicenses By Exclusive Licensees Of Copyrights – Copyright “Clarification” May Change The Law

A change in the rules on copyright licensing may be coming in the near future and from an unexpected and unanticipated source. The rules deal with whether the owner of an exclusive copyright license may sublicense such right without the approval of the licensor. The clear and unequivocal answer in the Ninth Circuit has long … Continue Reading

It’s Not Over For MGA’s Bratz Doll Line Yet

The Ninth Circuit recently stayed an injunction entered against MGA Entertainment, Inc., that would have otherwise required MGA to ensure that none of its popular Bratz dolls, the subject of a copyright dispute with toy giant, Mattel, Inc., are available on store shelves as of January 21, 2010. The injunction’s requirement that MGA also turn … Continue Reading

What Is the Jurisdictional Pre-Requisite for Copyright Litigation?: Do Denim v. Fried Denim

On June 17, 2009, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York dismissed the copyright claims of jeans maker Do Denim against rival manufacturer Fried Denim Inc., holding that the mere filing of the copyright applications, fees and deposits did not satisfy the jurisdictional requirement that a copyright be registered before a … Continue Reading

Copyrights: First Amendment Trumps Copyright Restoration

On April 3, 2009, the District Court for Colorado entered a groundbreaking copyright decision, treading on new judicial territory by directly applying the First Amendment to invalidate a provision of the Copyright Act. The case, Golan v. Ashcroft, Civil Case No. 01-cv-01854-LTB, found that, at least as applied to the plaintiffs, the copyright restoration provisions … Continue Reading

Hot News Meets DMCA

Hot News! … for IP lawyers. Hot news is still good law. After 90 years, a dusty 1918 Supreme Court case (International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918)), often overlooked and generally ignored, was resurrected from the judicial cobwebs by Judge Castel. The case before Judge Castel involved the same news gathering … Continue Reading

UMG Records v. Veoh Networks: Central District Decides Certain Activities Fall Within A DMCA Safe Harbor

In a recent case, UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., 89 U.S.P.Q.2d 1449 (C.D. Cal. 2008), the Central District decided a question of first impression—whether certain activities of a website operator fit within the section 512(c) safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") (found at 17 U.S.C. § 512).… Continue Reading

Open Source Licensing Finds Protection Before The CAFC

Open source licensing of software got a recent boost from an unlikely source, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The CAFC normally decides patent and trademark issues but rarely deals with copyrights.  In an appeal from the Northern District of California, the CAFC reversed and remanded for further factual findings after holding, as … Continue Reading

UMG v. Augusto: Allowing the Sale of Promotional CDs Under the First Sale Doctrine Could Affect Much More than the Music Industry

In a decision that could have far-reaching implications for technology licenses of all types, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently held that the first sale doctrine permits a recipient of promotional CDs to sell them online without violating the license pursuant to which the CDs were distributed and without being … Continue Reading

The National Geographic Gets The Picture

A recent en banc ruling of the 11th Circuit helps to clarify and solidify a media-neutral trend in copyright law while adding certainty to what publishers may do with valuable libraries of outdated paper. Such outdated paper will have little utility unless made available for republication in more accessible new media.… Continue Reading
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