Copyright

23Sep 2021
Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: I heard that it’s now illegal to put links to photos and videos on your webpages and in social media posts? Really? Won’t that just destroy the entire Internet? Asking for a friend. Signed,Every Internet User, Ever Dear Every: Yup. You heard right, at least as far as New York Federal District Court […]

09Sep 2021
The Turtles

What happens when Congress is unable – for almost 50 years – to figure out how to protect recorded music? Specifically, music recorded before 1972? Messy litigation involving the Turtles is what happens. First, some background. Almost 50 years ago, Congress passed the Sound Recording Amendment to the 1909 Copyright Act, which provided copyright protection […]

06May 2021
Family TV

When fans of the TV show “Dawson’s Creek” watch it on Netflix, it will sound very different. This is because the theme song (Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait”) has been replaced by Jann Arden’s “Run Like Mad” due to lack of streaming and DVD rights to the Paula Cole song.  Dawson’s Creek has plenty of company […]

01Apr 2021
What can you copyright

Copyright law often isn’t as well understood as, for example, criminal defense, or family law. Most people may know that if you write a book, perform a song, or take a photograph, you can obtain copyright protection for those works. But what about items that you can’t protect through copyright?  Here are some examples of […]

11Feb 2021
Unicolors vs. H&M

In 2011, H. R. 2511, “Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act” was an attempt by Congress to extend copyright protection to fashion design. The bill died in Congress and never received a vote. To this day, fashion designs remain unprotected under U.S. copyright law. One fashion-related area that has received considerable attention, however, is in the […]

07Jan 2021
New Copyright Laws

At the end of December 2020, Congress passed an “omnibus” bill which justifiably received significant attention for providing financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the legislation, in addition to the changes to trademark law discussed above, were also new laws related to copyright: the CASE Act and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. The CASE Act […]

17Dec 2020
Fair Use

In addition to an award of statutory damages, the ability to obtain attorney’s fees is often touted as an advantage of registering a copyright.  Indeed, it is a strong incentive for some lawyers to take copyright infringement cases on a contingency basis. What’s not often discussed is that should plaintiff’s attorney fail on behalf of […]

19Nov 2020
Led Zeppelin

After six years of litigation, Led Zeppelin has finally won.  Michael Skidmore, the trustee for the estate of Spirit’s guitarist Randy Wolfe, sued in 2014, claiming that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” infringed Spirit’s copyright in its song, “Taurus.”  On October 5, 2020, the Supreme Court denied Skidmore’s request for a writ of certiorari after the 9th Circuit Court […]

15Oct 2020
Paparazzi

Did you know that there has been a spate of lawsuits filed against celebrities for using unlicensed photographs of themselves?  It’s true. The list of defendants is a Who’s Who of social media, including Deshaun Watson, Justin Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, Lebron James, Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry, Khloe Kardashian, and the list goes on. With the […]