Intellectual Property Blog

CASE Act Enforcement Moves Forward: New Rules to Know

After a thoughtful two-year preamble, the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), precipitating from the 2020 CASE Act, is beginning to take solid form. The final rules for its copyright infringement proceedings were released in late March, to take effect April 25, 2022.   Part of the lengthiness of this process was a comment period on proposed rules. I commend the U.S. Copyright Office for taking the time to receive and apply that feedback. Since the intention of […]

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SoCal Professor Sues Students for Copyright Infringement with Surprising Motivations

Can copyright lawsuits ever be used for purposes other than protecting your own intellectual property? A recent case in Southern California shows a novel copyright infringement suit.David Berkovitz, a professor at Chapman University, taught his Business 215 class remotely throughout the pandemic. In January 2022, he discovered Course Hero, a website in which students share documents to help each other study and excel. Berkovitz stumbled across a surprising document in this labyrinth of forums: His […]

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Copyright Infringement at the Winter Olympics: House of the Rising Sun

What do you imagine when you hear “Winter Olympics”? Steep hills of snow, racers on skis, lyrical ice skaters… And copyright infringement? Musicians and brothers Robert and Aron Marderosian – known as the musical artist “Heavy Young Heathens” – are waging a copyright infringement case against U.S. Olympic ice skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier.  The duo used the Heavy Young Heathens’ master recording version of “House of the Rising Sun” for an Olympic short […]

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LEGO, Queer Eye Wardrobe, and Copyright Infringement

An oversight by ITV and Netflix may have led to a copyright infringement case against toymaker LEGO – one of many reasons to get clearance for any artwork used in a show. How are these companies connected in this story? In Netflix’s Queer Eye series, artist James Concannon’s artwork was showcased on a leather jacket that he made for one of the Fab Five, Antoni Porowski. When LEGO made a Queer Eye-themed set, this is […]

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Taylor Swift Copyright Infringement Case Goes to Trial

Mega-pop-star Taylor Swift finds herself going to trial for copyright infringement over two phrases from her major hit “Shake It Off”: “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.” The case has climbed the judicial ladder for several years, starting with the lawsuit brought by Sean Hall and Nathan Butler in 2017. They wrote the song “Playas Gon’ Play” for the girl group 3LW in 2001. Swift released “Shake It Off” in 2014. You can hear […]

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An Update: the CASE Act

In January of 2021, I wrote about the passage of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). This act created a separate system through which small copyright infringement claims could be processed more efficiently.   The Original Plan The goal of the CASE Act is to make copyright protection more accessible for working artists, photographers, authors, and creators who often don’t have the funds for copyright infringement lawsuits through the U.S. […]

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