Intellectual Property Blog

Artist’s Copyright Claim Against Art Collective May Prove Futile with Nothing in Writing 

In 2015, three years after the art collective Meow Wolf initially approached her, artist Lauren Adele Oliver agreed to add her Space Owl to their exhibit House of Eternal Return. According to Oliver, they sold her on the idea by offering her both membership in the group as well as an “artist revenue share”. Over the next few years, the exhibit itself became incredibly successful, earning millions for the collective. It was even named in […]

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International Copyright Dispute Over Light Sculptures

In most cases, if you exert creative effort to craft a piece of art without copying the work of another, and that art is embodied in a physical form, it is likely subject to copyright protection.  The rules can get murky, however, if your artwork is contained within a “useful article.” Under U.S. copyright law, only the artistic elements of a piece may be copyrightable. Any utilitarian elements of the artwork are not eligible for […]

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You Don’t Need to Be a Professional to Make Money from a Photo Copyright

Nowhere in copyright law does it say you have to hold a degree to create original work. It does not say you need a resume or professional equipment to make money from a copyright of a photo either. What you do need is to capture a valuable image. That means being in the right place at the right time and snapping that photo from just the right angle. The other step? Register the image — […]

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Special Announcement: US Copyright Registration Fee Changes

The United States Copyright Office (USCO) has announced a new fee schedule that went into effect on Friday, March 20, 2020. This follows a comprehensive cost study, an evaluation of budget requirements, and a review of previous proposals and public commentary. The changes are an attempt by the USCO to balance its expenses. Not all fees increased. Some decreased. And some, like group applications for photos, have remained the same. The most widely-affected cross-section of […]

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Paparazzi Sues J-Lo for Posting Photo on Instagram

Jennifer Lopez recently shared a photo of herself and soon-to-be husband Alex Rodriguez holding hands in front of a New York restaurant. The problem? The photo did not belong to her.  Although we usually see celebrities suing the paparazzi, in an odd twist, the photographer who took the picture is the party filing suit this time. In fact, this isn’t the first time the “paps” have sued a celeb, and it certainly won’t be the […]

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Information You Need To Know Before You File A Copyright Application

Filing a copyright application can seem like an easy process until you get stumped. So here are a few issues to think about before you complete the application: What type of work are you trying to register? Literary Work – books, poetry, directories, catalogs, computer programs Work of the Visual Arts – photos, fine, graphic and applied art; maps, technical drawings Sound Recording – audio recordings fixed in a phonorecord, CD, cassette, vinyl, audio tape […]

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