Categories
Intellectual Property

Fed Ct. Chooses Law Over Art: Warhol Piece Was Not Fair Use of a Prince Photograph

In a major loss for the Andy Warhol Foundation, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the famed artist did not make “fair use” of celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s 1981 portrait of Prince for his own 1984 series of similar-looking images. The decision overturns one made in 2019 by the Southern District Court of […]

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Intellectual Property Litigation

SCOTUS Saves Google Billions By Finding its Copying of Oracle Software was Fair Use

The copyright case of the century Google v. Oracle has been resolved – in Google’s favor.  The SCOTUS decision was 6-2 with Barrett not voting since she was not on the bench for oral argument. VERY BRIEF AND STRIPPED DOWN VERSION OF FACTS: • 1990 – Sun Microsystems developed Java programming language critical to operation […]

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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 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

Defense Dep’t Says US Gov’t Not Guantanamo Detainees Own Art Detainees Created

The Dept of Defense changed a policy this month affecting the 41 remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, known as Gitmo. The DOD ruled that detainees did not possess the artwork they created while detained and could not display it publicly or sell it. Art classes started at Gitmo “in the later years of […]

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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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]