Copyright

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 […]

01Oct 2020
Bill Murray

In the world of intellectual property, the “Cease and Desist” letter is king. These are letters from attorneys for the owner of a work or invention, sent to an alleged infringer of the owner’s intellectual property rights. The letters cite the legal basis for the owner’s claim, may threaten doom, destruction, and huge financial damages, […]

24Sep 2020

Dear Doc: It seems to me that every time I try to find out about intellectual property licensing, I end up more confused than ever. Are you able to help? Signed, Bothered and Bewildered Dear B&B: You are correct. Licensing is a complex area of business and of the law. Unfortunately, it is in the […]

17Sep 2020
Fair Use

Dozens of times over the past 10 years, we have written about the “fair use” exception to copyright infringement.  You may recall that “fair use” under the U.S. Copyright Act permits limited use of copyrighted works for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” It’s a complex area and one that is continuously […]