Tag Archives: Copyrights

Injunctions in Trademark and Copyright Infringement Cases: Trending Against the Irreparable Harm Presumption?

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. Merc-Exchange, IP plaintiffs who plan on relying on the presumption of irreparable harm when seeking injunctive relief (whether a TRO, preliminary or permanent) may want to rethink that strategy.  The days of relying on a general "presumption" of irreparable harm, without actual proof of such harm, are … Continue Reading

Developers of musical ringtones may benefit from using the statutory license created by Section 115 of the Copyright Act

The Register of Copyrights has issued a formal opinion finding that, in most instances, musical ringtones for cell phones and related mobile devices fall within the scope of the statutory license under Section 115 of the Copyright Act.  See Docket No. RF 2006-1.  The Register rendered its opinion at the request of the Record Industry … Continue Reading

The Copyright Office Makes An Improvement For The Worse

The Copyright Office recently issued a press release in their "Newsnet," Issue 341, April 14, 2008, announcing what everyone else already knew. The Copyright Office is getting seriously behind in processing copyright applications and issuing registration certificates. In fact, the official time lag for receiving a certificate is now "up to 8 months." This is … Continue Reading

First In Line: Registration Before Litigation

Like New Year’s resolutions which remain unfulfilled, a decision late last year of a federal district court sent still another reminder that copyright law in the United States remains far from the formality free regime envisioned by Berne Convention rules.  In November, Goss International Americas, Inc. v. A-American Machine & Assembly Co., 2007 WL 4294744 … Continue Reading

Lord to Commoners: Copy Away!

Our friends across the pond are considering a new proposal that would change the rules regarding the copying of movies and music. Specifically, the proposal would allow the copying of legitimately acquired music and movies between storage devices for "private use." Current law in the United Kingdom makes private copying such as this illegal. The … Continue Reading

Gambling with the Video Gaming Industry

Antigua and Barbuda, small island nations known for their sizable online gambling operations, may be entering a new business: legalized piracy. (The Hollywood Reporter, "U.S. copyright waived in tiny nation") The World Trade Organization, which administers trade disputes between members, has granted Antigua and Barbuda the right to waive U.S. intellectual property rights worth up … Continue Reading

Fans: Friend or Foe?

In a time long long ago, fans of certain fictional worlds portrayed in games or on television were relegated to relative obscurity. User generated content was generally confined to a well-crafted Klingon warrior outfit, the occasional love sonnet written in elvish, or a meticulously crafted sculpture of a twenty-sided die; however, the internet and the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Heightens Federal Pleading Standard

In a case likely to impact intellectual property litigation, the Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that alters the pleading standard necessary to support civil complaints filed in federal court, which governs most IP disputes.  In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. ____ (2007), the Court heightened the pleading standard, requiring that a complaint … Continue Reading

Adding Onto eBay

With 4th Circuit decision, new uncertainty about injunctions extends to copyright cases. It can be a fatal mistake to overlook remedies and their required elements of proof. Most lawyers feel comfortable giving opinions on liability (in their own fields of expertise, of course) and often assume that the usual remedies will simply fall into place. … Continue Reading

Coordinated Enforcement

There is a groundswell of federal legislative activity aimed at protecting and enforcing the intellectual property rights of United States businesses, authors and artists against international counterfeiting and piracy. This movement is signified most recently by the introduction of Senate Bill 522 on Feb. 7, entitled the "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act." What remains to … Continue Reading

The Top Ten Ways Copyright Law Can Mess Up Your Transaction

Many transactional lawyers who represent clients in entertainment, media or publishing deals have some working knowledge of copyright law.  However, as they say, "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing."  Copyright law is full of exceptions and qualifiers, and many clients and lawyers have only broad understandings of the way copyright law works to … Continue Reading

Orphan Works – U.S. Developments

In Spring the U.S. Congress began considering legislation that would extend copyright protection to users of "orphan works".  Orphan works are works for which there is no identifiable parent or, if there is one, it cannot be found.  Congress cares about them because copyright terms have, in the eyes of many, become too long.  Longer … Continue Reading

Current Developments in Copyright Office Practice A Quick Report from Washington, D.C.

On September 15, 2006, Register Marybeth Peters met with the Intellectual Property Section of the District of Columbia bar and the DC Chapter of the Copyright Society to discuss recent legislative and administrative developments affecting copyright law and practice. She provided some valuable insights on several major developments. Here is a brief recap of the … Continue Reading

Second German Court Upholds the GNU General Public License (GPL)

On September 6, 2006, the District Court in Frankfurt-on-the-Main issued a judgment which upheld the validity of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.   The case involved a complaint by Harald Welte, a co-developer of the netfilter firewall code in the Linux kernel and founder of the gpl-violations.org project, against D-Link Germany GmbH, a … Continue Reading

POOH’F!: There Goes the Termination Right

The United States Copyright Act provides authors and certain named statutory successors a one-time right to unilaterally terminate grants and transfers of renewal copyrights within a narrowly specified window. The right has been called "inalienable" by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Copyright Act expressly states that the right may be exercised notwithstanding "any agreement to … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Exposes CleanFlicks as Naked Violation of Rights to Reproduce and Distribute

A Colorado federal judge recently held that CleanFlicks and other companies violated motion picture studios’ rights to copy and distribute their movies by offering DVDs stripped of “objectionable” content for rent and sale. The court was not convinced that such use was protected by the “fair use” defense. However, the judge held that the “family friendly” movies … Continue Reading

Copyright Act Preempts Singer’s Right of Privacy and Publicity Claims Under California Law

A recent decision of the Ninth Circuit should provide a zone of comfort to owners of sound recordings and motion pictures who worry that their performers and actors may attempt to circumscribe their legitimate rights to exploit their copyrighted works based upon an asserted state law right of publicity. Laws v. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., 448 … Continue Reading

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