Peter Shapiro

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Application Rejected: Supreme Court Requires Registration to Commence Copyright Infringement Suit

In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., the Supreme Court settled the long unresolved question of whether registration or simply the application for registration is required to commence a suit for copyright infringement. In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Ginsburg, the high court ruled that a copyright owner cannot pursue infringement claims in … Continue Reading

Is There Copyright Infringement in Whoville?

The name “Cindy-Lou Who” likely invokes thoughts of the holiday season and Dr. Seuss’s beloved How the Grinch Stole Christmas (“Grinch”), which reminds us that the holidays are not all about toys and trinkets. But what happened after the Grinch “carved the roast beast”? Matthew Lombardo’s play Who’s Holiday! (the “Play”) tells us that story … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds That, Once Again, Book Scanning Is Fair Use

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has delivered a resounding reaffirmation of fair use principles in the latest decision to go against the Authors Guild in its longstanding battle against book digitization.  The unanimous opinion of the three-judge panel in Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust, No. 12-4547-cv (2d Cir. June 10, 2014) affirmed nearly all … Continue Reading

The ACLU and Facebook Weigh in on “Liking” as Protected Speech

Updating this previous post, the employees of a Virginia sheriff’s office who were fired allegedly for expressing support for the incumbent’s opponent in Bland v. Roberts have appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  One of the employees “liked” the opponent’s Facebook page, but the district court found that “liking” a Facebook … Continue Reading

Twitter Trolls and Free Speech

Perhaps inevitably, less than a week into the 2012 London Olympics, Twitter is finding itself at the center of numerous free speech controversies: two athletes, a Greek triple jumper and a Swiss soccer player, have been expelled from the Games because of allegedly racist tweets; athletes are turning to Twitter to complain about the IOC’s … Continue Reading

WIPO Treaty Grants Audiovisual Performers New Rights

The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, signed on June 26, is an attempt to harmonize the substantive IP rights of audiovisual performers across the globe. Intended to complement the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty of 1996 (the “WPPT”), which only covered audio performances, the Beijing Treaty grants audiovisual performers certain moral and economic rights in … Continue Reading

Court Gives Thumbs Down to First Amendment Protection for “Liking” Candidate on Facebook

In a decision that runs counter to a large body of Supreme Court precedent on both Internet and non-verbal speech, a Virginia district court has held that “liking” a candidate for public office on Facebook is not entitled to First Amendment protection. The case involves employees of a Virginia sheriff’s office who were less than … Continue Reading

Lawyer Ratings Site Seeks Declaration That it Is Not Required to Remove Unflattering Reviews of Attorney Posted by Third Parties

In response to threatened legal action from a Florida law firm unhappy with negative reviews posted by users of the online attorney review site, the site’s operator, Ratingz, Inc., filed an action in California federal court seeking declaratory relief that the site is immune from any threatened action.  The declaratory judgment action, filed with … Continue Reading