Tag Archives: copyright

Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Fee-Shifting in Copyright Cases

The Supreme Court on June 16 issued a unanimous ruling clarifying the test for awarding attorneys’ fees to successful copyright litigants.  The decision, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is sure to have lasting impact on how both plaintiffs and defendants weigh the risk of litigating a copyright case to completion. BACKGROUND The … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Denies Rehearing on Whether Section 337 Includes Digital Imports

The Federal Circuit debate begun in Suprema, Inc. v. International Trade Commission, 796 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (en banc), continued with the court’s denial of rehearing en banc in ClearCorrect Operating, LLC v. International Trade Commission, No. 2014-1527(Fed. Cir. Mar. 31, 2016) (Prost, C.J., concurring, and Newman, J., dissenting). In Suprema, the en banc … Continue Reading

Artist Richard Prince Sued for Use of Photo from Instagram

It is not the first time artist Richard Prince has made headlines for appropriating others’ artwork into his own without attribution or license. But this time, he has done so in a way that may have implications on the use of photographs posted on social media. He is being sued on one of the 37 … Continue Reading

Greater liability for ISP’s?

In a sure-to-be-appealed verdict last week, a federal court jury in the Eastern District of Virginia found Cox Communications liable to pay $25 million to music publisher BMG Rights Management for contributory copyright infringement. Does this case add anything new to the debate over whether the Digital Millennium Copyright Act strikes the right balance in … 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

Fox News LLC v. TVEyes, Inc.—Does the Courts’ Expansion of Fair Use Copyright Protection Promote the “Progress of Science and useful Arts” When It Requires Increasing Judicial Oversight Over Activities That Otherwise Would Be Regulated By the Marketplace?

In 2014, when District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York upheld TVEyes, Inc.’s (“TVEyes”) monitoring service as “fair use” in the face of a copyright infringement claim brought by Fox New Network LLC (“Fox News”),[1] the decision was seen as yet another step in the federal courts’ limitations of the … Continue Reading

The Give and Take of the 2015 Library of Congress Sec. 1201 Copyright Exemptions

I used to love working on cars. As a teenager I had a 1972 Karmann Ghia, which I could repair, MacGyver-like, with rubber bands, tinfoil, and sticks of chewing gum. But as automotive technology advanced, the prospect of making my own repairs to fuel, emission, or transmission systems dimmed. Installation of electronic control units (ECUs) … Continue Reading

Tomaydo-Tomahhdo

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit ruled the “Tomaydo-Tomahhdo Recipe Book” was not creative enough to warrant a copyright. The case started when Rosemarie Carroll (and related companies) sued her ex-partner, Larry Moore (and others) for copying her recipe book.  Recipes and ingredient lists have never been copyrightable by themselves, but much like other compilations, when … Continue Reading

Transforming Works: The Second Circuit Rules That the Google Library Project Digitization Is a Transformative Fair Use in Authors Guild, v. Google Inc.

On October 16, 2015, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google Inc., 954 F. Supp. 2d 282 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), previously reported here, that Google’s digitization of complete copyrighted works, without author permission, and the creation of excerpt “snippets,” accessible to the public by contracting libraries for research, is … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler’s Oren Warshavsky, a Law360’s Voices of the Bar for Intellectual Property, comments on “What Shall We Do About ‘Orphan Works’?”

On September 22, Law360 published an article positing the question, “What should be done to more fairly enable the use of orphan works?” after the ruling determining that Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. does not own a valid copyright on “Happy Birthday to You.” Oren Warshavsky, head of BakerHostetler’s national Copyright, Content, and Platforms team and one … 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

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

The DMCA Through the ‘Lenz’ of Fair Use: The Ninth Circuit Finds Fair Use Analysis Required Before Sending a DMCA Takedown Notice

Yesterday the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in the heavily followed “dancing baby case,” holding that copyright owners must consider an alleged infringer’s defense of fair use before sending a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Moreover, a copyright owner that fails to conduct a fair use analysis prior to sending a DMCA … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler’s Oren Warshavsky, a Law360’s Voices of the Bar for Intellectual Property, comments on “With High Court Mum On Java Copyrights, Is Innovation Safe?”

On July 1, 2015, Law360 queried the Supreme Court decision not to review Google Inc. v. Oracle America Inc. in their Voices on the Bar column.  Oren Warshavsky, head of BakerHostetler’s national Copyright, Content, and Platforms team and one of Law360’s Voices on the Bar commented:  “In a vacuum, the Federal Circuit’s holding could well … Continue Reading

Pre-1972 Recording Rulings – Not as Happy Together or as a Settlement

This week, after a string of wins, two members of the classic rock group the Turtles suffered a setback in their lawsuit against satellite radio provider, SiriusXM (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc.). Background: The dispute has been well explained by others, including here and here. But generally speaking, the dispute concerns the rights … Continue Reading

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for “Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical band.” The examining attorney refused registration on the basis that the mark THE SLANTS is disparaging … Continue Reading

What CLS Bank Taketh, Copyright May Giveth Back

CLS Bank and Its Impact on Software Patents Courts, commentators and clients will be struggling for some time to assess the impact on software patents of Thursday’s Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank.  Interpreted one way, the decision kills patents directed at computer-implemented business methods.  Interpreted another way, it’s business as usual for … Continue Reading

Legislative Watch: Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2013

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published as a BakerHostetler Executive Alert on November 13, 2013 Authored by: Heather J. McDonald and Jenna Felz A proposed U.S. Senate Bill has the potential to change the way in which intellectual property infringement is reported and enforced. U.S. Senate Bill 662 (“S. 662”), the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization … Continue Reading
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