Tag Archives: copyright registration

California Court Rules No Copyright Protection for “Happy Birthday to You”

This week, in Rupa Marya, et al. v. Warner/Chappel Music, Inc., et al., No. CV 13-4460-GHK (C.D. Cal. Sept. 22, 2015), U.S. District Judge George H. King ruled that defendant Warner/Chappel Music has no enforceable copyright for the ubiquitous song “Happy Birthday to You.” The ruling resolves cross motions for summary judgment filed in November … Continue Reading

Pocket Full of Kryptonite: California Court Rules that Superman Heirs Forfeited Termination Rights

The Copyright Act’s provisions concerning termination rights are complex and nuanced: these rights are available only under certain circumstances and only during specified periods of time.  And that is not surprising, as these rights allow an author or an author’s beneficiaries to recapture potentially valuable rights that were previously assigned—basically, an author or her heirs have … Continue Reading

Whoa Nelly: Furtado and Timbaland Defeat Copyright Claim as Plaintiff Fails to Show Evidence

In what might have otherwise been a legitimate case of copyright infringement, Kernel Records–the plaintiff in Kernel Records Oy v. Timothy Mosley et al., had its case tossed out because of an evidentiary failure. Section 411 of the Copyright Act is clear: absent special circumstances, a plaintiff must attain a copyright registration, as discussed here.  One … Continue Reading

Copyright Law 101: The Registration Requirement

The U.S. Copyright Act has certain formalities; one of the simplest and easiest to understand is the so-called “registration requirement.”  This is an important requirement—it governs when a copyright owner can bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  Section 411(a)‘s terms are clear and unambiguous: no action for may be instituted until registration has been made … Continue Reading