Intellectual Property Blog

Broadcasters: How to Protect Yourself from Photo Lawsuits

By Edward L. Birk and Crystal T. Broughan In a recent post, we wrote about the fast-paced world of broadcasting, made even faster by the Internet age, and how this has led to the temptation of pulling imagery from websites without confirming copyright and securing proper permission. The reuse of online content is very easy to accomplish. The consequences can be very painful to the bank account. According to Federal court listings, a comparison of […]

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Things You Cannot Copyright

Advancements in internet and new media technology have given rise to information and creative materials spreading faster and wider than ever before in history. In turn, the sheer amount of copyright-protected material has increased exponentially. Not surprisingly, litigation pertaining to copyright violations has exploded over the last decade as well. However, there are still a few areas to which copyright protection does not extend.   Before contacting the U.S. Copyright Office, there are two primary […]

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Jewelry Designs and Copyright Protection

Copyright law protects many different types of original artistic expressions that are original to the creator and fixed in a tangible form. Artistic pieces like earrings, necklaces, broaches, rings, and bracelets may be protected by copyright law if there are original creative elements that can be identified separately from the functional aspects of the piece of jewelry.  So the clasp on the necklace may not be protected, but the original design of the part of the […]

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Dance Moves – Can You Claim Copyright Infringement?

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen The boundaries of copyright law are tested in an increasingly digital world, but digital arts can give a new perspective on old issues. Like the question: can you claim copyright infringement for a dance move? That is the question raised by claims against the videogame Fortnite from entertainers Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton, Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Terrence Ferguson (rapper 2 Milly), and Russell Horning (Backpack Kid). […]

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Companies Should Take Note of This Street Artist Win

A Los Angeles federal judge recently rejected General Motors’ attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by a street artist whose parking garage mural was used in a 2016 Cadillac ad campaign without permission. That may seem like no big deal – after all, it’s not like the artist has won the case yet. However, it could open the floodgates for other street artists to sue for damages when their work is depicted without their permission. The […]

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Copyrighting a Skyline: Two Sample Cases

You may not be surprised to learn that you cannot copyright a skyline. However, you can certainly copyright photographs that are taken of that skyline. If someone takes your image without your permission and uses it, you may have grounds for a copyright infringement lawsuit. But copyright law is complex, so how you approach your lawsuit can make a huge difference. Here are two real cases involving skyline photographs – with opposite outcomes. Case One: […]

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