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Yearly Archives from 2022

Banksy Defends His Art Against Guess Copyright Infringement

If an artist’s message revolves around anti-commercialist values, is it hypocritical for them to employ copyright law to protect their own work? A swirl of questions like this surrounds a recent copyright infringement case involving Banksy and Guess. The mysterious, anonymous artist has been fighting the fashion giant to stop using his work on their clothing without his permission.  Not Copyright Infringement: Guess Claims They Had “Legal Rights” to Use Banksy’s Work The fashion retailer […]

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Trademark Lawsuit: New vs. Founding Band Members of Autograph

The histories of bands are often fraught with volatile dynamics between members. Sometimes these dynamics rise to the surface in public lawsuits, especially when it comes to band ownership, royalties, and live show profits. This makes sense – a popular band can serve as a very valuable IP asset, bringing in thousands of dollars or more per year as fans buy into shows, recordings, and band merchandise.  The situation can become even more complicated when […]

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Case about a Jack Daniel’s Parody Toy May Set New National Standards

“The Old No. 2, on your Tennessee Carpet.” “43% Poo By Vol.” “100% Smelly.” Those are just a few of the quotes employed by Phoenix-based business VIP for their “Bad Spaniels” dog toy. They are meant to evoke and parody Jack Daniel’s famous “Old No. 7” label of whiskey by using similar language to describe a dog that behaves badly. If you saw that language on a dog toy, would you think that it came […]

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Coincidence or Correlation in Yakima, WA?

Most free-speech cases are complicated.  For instance, a case regarding free speech in Yakima, WA rests on the intersection of protection against discrimination and public safety. A local furniture business owner sued the city and several public employees, alleging that the city persecuted him with fire code inspections and violations after he opposed a city plan to replace a parking lot with a downtown plaza. The city argues that the temporal proximity of the business […]

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Does Your State Have an Anti-SLAPP Law? SC Doesn’t

I have posted about anti-SLAPP laws. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. Often brought by public figures or organizations with greater power and resources, anti-SLAPP lawsuits are filed with the unstated purpose of silencing critical First Amendment rights. The unstated message is: “You don’t really believe this is a case of defamation. You’re just trying to chill my speech in legal fees and red tape.”  Anti-SLAPP laws empower defendants to call the plaintiff’s […]

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