Tag Archives: copyright

Dear Doc: A few years ago, you wrote about a copyright law suit where the judges’ opinion in the case took care to point out that among the purchasers of the art work accused of infringement were some famous people. Does that make a difference in how cases get decided? Signed,Instagram Follower Dear IF: The […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Photographers have long been able to utilize the copyright system for registering groups of photographs for a single registration fee, now $55.00. It has to be one of the best bargains in the IP world. Registration gives photographers and other authors of original content access to federal courts, a presumption of validity, a public record of ownership […]

Why is the famous “I [heart] New York” logo protected by trademark and not copyright?  At first glance, you’d think that it’s artwork, and therefore can be protected by copyright.  However, the Copyright Act protects “original works of authorship.” The “I [heart] New York” logo is merely a phrase, with the word “love” replaced by […]