Tag Archives: copyright infringement

FilmOn and the Copyright Act §111 Compulsory Licensing

Web-based television streaming services have been dealt another blow in their campaign to transmit large broadcasters’ copyrighted programs.  In the latest decision on the issue, a federal judge rejected FilmOn X LLC’s claims that the company could stream protected broadcasts without committing copyright infringement.  Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X LLC, No. 13-758-RMC (D.D.C. … Continue Reading

FilmOn and the Copyright Act §111 Compulsory Licensing

Web-based television streaming services have been dealt another blow in their campaign to transmit large broadcasters’ copyrighted programs.  In the latest decision on the issue, a federal judge rejected FilmOn X LLC’s claims that the company could stream protected broadcasts without committing copyright infringement.  Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X LLC, No. 13-758-RMC (D.D.C. … Continue Reading

A New Lenz: Google Weighs In on Fair Use

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a liability “safe harbor” for online service providers that post content that may be protected by copyright. It facilitates the takedown of an infringing work by providing a relatively simple “notice and takedown” procedure. However, the DMCA has been criticized for making it more difficult for individual creators to … Continue Reading

A New Lenz: Google Weighs In on Fair Use

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a liability “safe harbor” for online service providers that post content that may be protected by copyright. It facilitates the takedown of an infringing work by providing a relatively simple “notice and takedown” procedure. However, the DMCA has been criticized for making it more difficult for individual creators to … Continue Reading

Judge Halts Pornographer’s Subpoenas Against Potential Infringers Identified Through IP Addresses

Online content providers continue to struggle with the challenge of copyright infringement by BitTorrent users.  One of the most aggressive tacks is the one taken by Malibu Media, which, after instituting over 4,500 lawsuits in four years, has become one of the most controversial copyright litigants, responsible for over 40 percent of copyright litigations during that time. … Continue Reading

Judge Halts Pornographer’s Subpoenas Against Potential Infringers Identified Through IP Addresses

Online content providers continue to struggle with the challenge of copyright infringement by BitTorrent users.  One of the most aggressive tacks is the one taken by Malibu Media, which, after instituting over 4,500 lawsuits in four years, has become one of the most controversial copyright litigants, responsible for over 40 percent of copyright litigations during that time. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: “Holy Copyright Law, Batman!” The Batmobile Is Copyrightable

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Batmobile is a copyrightable character. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion explaining its ruling begins with the sentence “Holy copyright law, Batman!,” and goes on to quote Adam West and invoke other pop culture references.  “ Since 1939, Batman has been featured in numerous publications by DC Comics, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: “Holy Copyright Law, Batman!” The Batmobile Is Copyrightable

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Batmobile is a copyrightable character. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion explaining its ruling begins with the sentence “Holy copyright law, Batman!,” and goes on to quote Adam West and invoke other pop culture references.  “ Since 1939, Batman has been featured in numerous publications by DC Comics, … Continue Reading

Jury Sees a Clear Line – Pharrell, Thicke Crossed It

Pharrell Williams, famous for singing about how “Happy” he is, might be changing his tune these days. On March 10, a federal jury found him and fellow pop star Robin Thicke liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s popular song “Got to Give it Up,” resulting in one of the biggest music-infringement verdicts ever – $7.3 million. … Continue Reading

Another Step in the Long March from Campbell v. Acuff-Rose toward Fair Use Free-for-All?

Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc., 2014 WL 4444043 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 9, 2014) TVEyes is a media-monitoring subscription service that “records the entire content of television and radio broadcasts and creates a searchable database of that content.” This service allows subscribers to search keywords or phrases to determine and review an aggregation of instances … Continue Reading

Apparel Designs and the “Metaphysics” of Copyright Protection

Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athlectica, LLC, 110 U.S.P.Q.2d 1150 (W.D. Tenn. 2014) Metaphysics is usually thought to be the province of philosophers or theologians.  A recent decision by a U.S. District Court in Tennessee, Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC, 110 U.S.P.Q.2d 1150 (W.D. Tenn. 2014), reminds us that copyright law can also … 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

GoldieBlox and the Three Beastie Boys

It was the ad video gone viral of three young girls proudly showing off their elaborate Rube Goldberg machine made of repurposed pink toys.  They sang “it’s time to change, we deserve to see a range” and called for girls “to code the new apps” and “to grow up knowing that they can engineer that.” … Continue Reading

GoldieBlox and the Three Beastie Boys

It was the ad video gone viral of three young girls proudly showing off their elaborate Rube Goldberg machine made of repurposed pink toys.  They sang “it’s time to change, we deserve to see a range” and called for girls “to code the new apps” and “to grow up knowing that they can engineer that.” … Continue Reading

Google Prevails in the Latest Chapter of the Google Books Litigation

On November 15, Judge Chin of the Southern District of New York issued a long-awaited decision  in the Google Books case, Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc.  Google Books—the project through which Google provides access to over twenty million books to the public—obtained some of its books from libraries without permission from the copyright owners.  … Continue Reading

Google Prevails in the Latest Chapter of the Google Books Litigation

On November 15, Judge Chin of the Southern District of New York issued a long-awaited decision  in the Google Books case, Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc.  Google Books—the project through which Google provides access to over twenty million books to the public—obtained some of its books from libraries without permission from the copyright owners.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines Opportunity to Review Test for Copyright Fair Use

After the Second Circuit ruling in Cariou v. Prince, which we wrote about on this blog here, photographer Patrick Cariou felt that the decision was too subjective, calling it an “I know it when I see it” approach for determining when a work is transformative—or, in other words, when a work that appropriates copyright material … Continue Reading

Robin Thicke, Marvin Gaye, and the Blurred Line Between Inspiration and Infringement

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has been a pop-music juggernaut: the year’s best selling song in the United States and the UK is entering its 11th week at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.  When it was initially released many noted that it was reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s hit Got to Give It Up.  And … Continue Reading

Appropriation Art Alive and Well after Second Circuit Ruling in Cariou v. Prince

Today, the Second Circuit handed down its much anticipated decision in Cariou v. Prince regarding the legality of appropriation art by artist Richard Prince. Just over two years ago, in federal district court in New York, Judge Batts ordered that paintings by Richard Prince be destroyed.  She did so on the basis that the art, … Continue Reading

Girl Under Fire: Alicia Keys Sued for Copyright Infringement over Girl on Fire

Songwriter Earl Shuman sued Alicia Keys for allegedly “sampling” parts of the composition “Hey There Lonely Boy” (“Lonely”) that he co-wrote in 1962. According to the complaint, Keys’ recording of “Girl on Fire” (“Fire”), which is the lead single on her same-titled album, misappropriates a few notes of the composition. Shuman’s composition was recorded by … Continue Reading
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