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Copyright Law

Miami Sex Club Must pay $892K for Using Women’s Pics Without Permission to Promote Site

So who thought this was a good idea? Miami Velvet is one of a handful of South Florida members-only night clubs for swingers, couples who share partners and can have group sex inside. To promote their website, the company used images of attractive women, clad in bikinis. The women’s pictures were often featured along side […]

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Copyright Law Entertainment Law Intellectual Property Trademark Law

Will Alfonso Ribiero Win His Lawsuit Against Fortnite Over “The Carlton Dance?” (Hint: No)

Actor Alfonso Ribiero played nerdy guy Carlton on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” back in the last century. One of the greatest scenes from the show was when Cartlon, home alone, dances wildly to Tom Jones’ hit “Its Not Unusual.” The dance became his signature move and dubbed The Carlton. Now two video game […]

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Copyright Law

It’s All About the Mouse: Protecting Disney Has Thwarted Public Works

When I first started practicing law in 1986, copyright in a piece was easy to determine. It lasted 28 years from date of publication and then could be renewed for another 28 years. That gave the author a good 56 years of exclusive ownership to profit from: then the work became the world’s – public […]

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Copyright Law Litigation

Court Labels Attorney as “Copyright Troll” and Fines Him $10,000 Over Frivolous Case Involving Photograph

2018 has been a bad year for copyright infringement troll attorney Richard Liebowitz. He specializes in bringing hundreds of suits over the alleged infringing use of a digital photograph. In February, in the case of McDermott v. Monday, Monday LLC Southern District of NY Judge Denise Cote labeled him a “Copyright Troll” for filing over […]

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Copyright Law Intellectual Property Litigation

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Taylor Swift Song Because Lyrics are Too Banal

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald of the Central District Court of California has dismissed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift, in which songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall alleged that her hit song “Shake It Off” ripped off the lyrics to 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” which the pair wrote for the ’90s girl group. Butler and […]

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Constitutional Law Copyright Law Intellectual Property Litigation

Troll Lawyer Denied Attorney’s Fees in Copyright Lawsuit

In an important decision from the Federal Court for the District of Oregon, a court has denied attorney’s fees to a successful copyright litigant because the court ruled that in this instance the award did not further the purposes of the Copyright Act. The lawsuit involves the pervasive litigation filed by porn companies against folks […]

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Copyright Law Intellectual Property

New Copyright Regs Could Screw Website Owners: Seriously, Beware!

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation comes this news: Under a new rule from the Copyright Office, website owners could be exposed to massive risk of copyright liability simply for neglecting to submit an online form on time. The rule could eliminate the safe harbor status that thousands of websites receive under the Digital Millennium Copyright […]

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Constitutional Law Copyright Law

Can Posting a Spoiler Violate Copyright Law? AMC Says “Hell Yes!” and “We’ll Sue You If You Do!”

Everybody hates Internet spoilers. You know,those people who either binge-watch a fully-uploaded whole season before you get to Episode 3 or who feel the need to review the most recent episode of a weekly show immediately after it airs while you planned on watching it via your DVR two days later. Spoilers like that are […]

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Intellectual Property Litigation

$1 Billion Lawsuit Against Getty Images Shows Effects of Trolling

Acclaimed photographer Carol Highsmith has filed a Federal lawsuit alleging violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against Getty Images and other parties for their attempt to charge her and others for the use of her own photos. Ms. Highsmith has been praised by the Library of Congress for her donation of thousands and thousands […]