Posts Tagged: "copyright law"

Going Gaga for Music Samples

A Chicago musician called Rebecca Francescatti says that Lady Gaga stole part of her song “Juda” for the hit song “Judas”. More specifically, the complaint alleges that a particular portion of “Judas” violates Francescatti’s exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, performance, and preparation of a derivative work. But before we get to that, we’ll need to wade through a bit of a semantics morass. This suit is being couched in terms of plagiarism.

Target, Walmart Win Copyright Litigation Over Zebra Pattern

Meridian Textiles filed a copyright claim against Topson Downs, Target and Wal-Mart (collectively called Defendant in court documents), claimed the used fabric designs that are solely theirs. The claim was related to 4 separate fabric designs: a zebra stripe pattern, a burnout pattern, an animal print pattern and a lace design. United States District Court of the Central District of California Judge Gary Klausner said that the zebra print pattern in question is not entitled to protection under copyright because the pattern reflects animal stripes that are found in nature and not a man-made pattern, and therefore ordered the U.S. Copyright Office to invalidate Meridian’s registration on the pattern.

Copyright Issues for the 113th Congress

During the first quarter of the 2013, Congressional attention will be focused on budget, appropriations and debt ceiling matters – along with a few other public policy issues that have recently taken center stage – such as gun control. That does not mean, however, that work on other important issues will cease, and lawmakers will have to contend with several other matters – including key copyright issues – during the 113th Congress.

WIPO Advances Toward Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Persons with Print Disabilities

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the constructive spirit of engagement among member states and the decision to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013 to agree on the provisions of an international treaty. “Member states took an important decision today in our collective efforts to facilitate access to copyrighted works by the visually impaired and persons with print disabilities” Mr. Gurry said. He added “The future treaty will improve access to published works for millions around the world.” The Director General thanked Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Omar Hilale, for his country’s generous offer to host the diplomatic conference.

Google Settles Copyright Dispute with Belgian Newspaper

This case started back in 2006, when the newspaper publishers took Google to court, stating that the popular search engine was infringing on their copyright. They had been trying to get Google to compensate them for using their online content, claiming that as more and more readers turned to the Internet to get their news, less and less readers were utilizing their printed versions. Under the new agreement, Google will team up with the Rossel Group, a major media group in Brussels that owns some of the top newspapers such as Le Soir and L’Echo; and the IPM Group which puts out publications L’Avenir and La Libre Belgique.

Oblon Signs Five Year Deal with Copyright Clearance Center for Its Annual Copyright License

The answer to why a patent law firm would be taking a blanket copyright license may well be found in the old saying about a penny of prevention being worth a pound of cure. Law firms have been coming under fire recently for alleged copyright violations relating to the materials they submit to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Artists Oppose Internet Radio Fairness Act Pushed by Pandora

The stars, who included Alabama, Sheryl Crow, CeeLo Green, Billy Joel, Maroon 5, KISS, Ne-Yo, Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Megadeath and many others, praised Pandora, saying: “We are big fans.”  But with massive growth in revenues and a successful IPO under its belt, the artists are wondering why Pandora is pushing Congress to slash musicians’ pay.  “That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together,” the open letter explains. The Internet Radio Fairness Act Pandora is promoting would get them out of their 5 year old negotiated deal. Doesn’t Congress have more pressing matters?

DC Comics Wins Battle for the Rights to The Man of Steel

The decision in this case means that DC Comics will retain all the rights to the Superman characters and can continue to use them in books, movies and other entertainment media. It also means that Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics, will retain the rights for use in books, films, television and other various mediums. Given the enormous popularity of movies portraying Marvel superstars such as Iron Man, Thor and the X-Men, keeping the rights to Superman and not interrupting the new Superman movie, which is scheduled for release on June 14, 2013, is a big win for DC and Warner Bros.

How to Copyright One or More Photographs

Recently I enrolled in a basic photography class and I am loving it! Of course, I didn’t have anywhere to go but up. Still, my photographs are improving and I am looking for a new camera. So it is with this in mind that I thought I would take a moment to write about how to copyright photographs. A photograph is considered a work of visual art, which is encompassed by category #5 — “pictorial, graphic and sculptural works.” Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works include both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art.

Stan Lee Media Sues Disney Over Marvel Characters

In a battle for the superheroes, an federal complaint alleging copyright infringement was filed on October 9, 2012 in the United States Federal District Court for the District of Colorado by a company called Stan Lee Media. The company was started by Stan Lee with his friend Peter Paul, who is now serving time in prison for fraudulent activities regarding this company. Lee wisely pulled out of the company over a decade ago when it failed. According to the complaint, Lee signed over the rights to his famed superheroes to the company Stan Lee Media. Of course, it is more complicated than it looks at first glance.

Copyright Fair Use Cases of the United States Supreme Court

October overwhelmingly means one thing in the legal world. No, not Halloween, although to some it may seem just as scary. Every October the United States Supreme Court breaks its hibernation and starts its new session. Every case heard and decision handed down by the Supreme Court between October 1, 2012 and the end of June 2013 will be a part of the Court’s October 2012 term. This, the first of what will be a handful of SCOTUS related intellectual property articles, is a summary of the most important Supreme Court copyright fair use cases dating back to Baker v. Selden in 1879.

WIPO Diplomatic Conference Opens in Beijing to Conclude Treaty on Performers’ Rights in Audiovisual Productions

Mr. Gurry said the Diplomatic Conference represents a success of the multilateral system, in particular in the field of intellectual property (IP). The Conference, which will run through June 26, 2012, also recognizes the contribution of audiovisual performers to society, culture and education. “Actors and audiovisual performers are fundamental to our capacity to experience the art that an author or composer has created,” Mr. Gurry said. ”Their performances instruct, move and enrich us and are intrinsically worthy of protection.”

Negotiators Set to Wrap-up Talks on New Treaty to Improve Actors’ and other Performers’ Rights in Audiovisual Productions

The stage is set for a new international treaty that would extend the protection for audiovisual performers, granting them both economic and moral rights similar to those already recognized for music performers. Over 500 negotiators from WIPO’s 185 member states, as well as actors, industry and other stakeholder organizations will meet in Beijing from June 20 to 26, 2012 to finalize discussions on an international treaty to update the intellectual property rights of audiovisual performers, such as film and TV actors and actresses. The meeting will be opened on June 20, 2012 at the China World Hotel by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and high ranking Chinese State and Beijing Municipality officials.

Court Green-lights Copyright Class Action against Google

In order to establish copyright infringement, a plaintiff must show: (1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original. Judge Chin concluded that no participation of the individual members would be necessary in order to establish the first prong for those who retain copyright ownership. More specifically, copyright registrations are prima facie evidence of copyright ownership and they are a matter of public record. While limited participation may be necessary for those who have assigned copyrights or licensed copyrights and continue to receive royalties, Judge Chin determined that “[r]equiring some individual members to present documentary evidence of their beneficial copyright interest would not make this case administratively inconvenient or unmanageable.” – Dealing with Online Harassment & Cyberbullying is perhaps the most abusive and offensive website on the Internet. In addition to encouraging the voting on whether people are jerks they allow the most vile commentary to be published. I can’t think of anything else to call this other than cyber bullying. Not only are they engaging in widespread harassment of unsuspecting, innocent and helpless individuals — INCLUDING CHILDREN — but they are also engaged in widespread copyright infringement.