Category Archive: Copyrights

One of the areas where expectations might be more effectively shaped proactively is when someone in the nonprofit arena authors content. Often, the fact that the nonprofit, not the employee own the resulting copyright in the work eludes the employee’s understanding. This case from last week is such a circumstance. Kamanou v. Executive Secretary (SDNY …

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In a 6-2 majority decision written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court ruled today that Congress has the authority to restore copyrights in this country that had had lapsed. Relying heavily upon the 2003 decision of Eldred v. Ashcroft: “Our decision in Eldred is largely dispositive of petitioners’ limited-time argument. There we addressed the …

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After filing over 275 lawsuits in almost 18 months, it seems as though Righthaven, LLC (“Righthaven”) may have run out of steam. Righthaven, a Nevada holding company, was founded in early 2010, for the sole purpose of filing copyright lawsuits on behalf of its clients, news content owners (such as Stephens Media).  Its methods involved …

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Warner Bros. v. X One X Production, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13646 (8th Cir. Mo. July 5, 2011) This is a case that will make game and movie companies add a new level of analysis and scrutiny to every new creation that has a basis in a work that has entered the public domain. The …

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Elly May is the role played over two hundred and sixty-four times by Donna Douglas in 1960’s series, The Beverly Hillbillies; and, Douglas has sued Mattel in Louisiana for making the “Elly May” doll in the Barbie Doll line. While Mattel claims to have obtained all necessary licenses to make the product under necessary channels, …

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Section 512 includes a recital of the various safe harbors from liability and is also collectively referred to as OCILLA (Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act). Section 512(f) is intended to be a deterrent to those making false claims of infringement; this subsection of OCCILLA makes the person who is asserting the false claim of …

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Gaylord v. United States, (Fed. Cir. 4/22/11) A 37 cent stamp is at the heart of this copyright dispute that has been percolating through the courts like coffee in an old stovetop pot. It began in the Court of Claims; went up to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC); was remanded and …

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RightHaven, LCC, v. Center for Intercultural Organizing, 2:10-CV-1322 JCM (LRL) (DC Nev., 2011) The word ‘blog’ began as a typo, and now it’s a genre all on its own. And with the emergence of a new genre comes a category of case law that arises specifically from that genre. April 22, 2011, RightHaven failed in …

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Kenneth M. Stern v. Does, et al., C.D.Ca., No. CV 09-01986 DMG (April, 2011) A single sentence sent to a list serve formed the basis of the copyright infringement action in this case. Specifically, an attorney sent a single sentence seeking information regarding a certified public accounting firm which he suspected had over-billed his client. …

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Fleischer Studios v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc. (9th Cir. Sept. 23, 2011) A copyright and trademark case in which the Ninth Circuit finds copyright chain of title argument waived for failure to raise in the opening brief; and the trademark analysis goes off in an obtuse angle to trademark law as we know it. Max Fleischer, while …

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