Intellectual Property Blog

How Do You Obtain Permission to Use Someone Else’s Original Copyright Protected Materials?

Preparing copyright applications for clients can lead to tough questions, such as, “Does this book only contain your original work? Not original work from a third party?”   I always review the complete, submitted work that is the subject of a copyright application for photographs, artwork, quotes, or graphics. My goal is to identify if any were created by a third party and inserted in the client’s original work.  Sometimes I receive telephone calls from copyright […]

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Do You Make NFTs? What You Need to Know About Copyright Protection

What do LeBron James, Kings of Leon, and a hybrid Pop Tart/cat monster have in common? They all comprise pieces of a trending type of art that lives on the internet: NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens.” These digital art pieces cannot be replicated, because they employ blockchain, the same decentralized programming foundation as cryptocurrency.  In fact, the two commonly coexist — people commonly pay for NFTs in cryptocurrency. If you create NFTs, all of this likely […]

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What in the World Is GatorCheats and Why Did They Just Agree to Pay $2M?

Even if you do not play video games, you probably know that the video game industry makes a lot of money. It is quite likely that you also have a sense that the content in video games falls under copyright protection. What you might not realize, however, is that cheating at video games is also a huge business… and its legality is highly questionable. Businesses that make money creating various kinds of video game cheats […]

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Adding a New Aesthetic or Expression Is Not Necessarily Transformative

In 1981, photographer Lynn Goldsmith did a photoshoot with Prince while on assignment for Newsweek. While those images were never published, Vanity Fair licensed one of them in 1984 for an illustration by Andy Warhol. Mr. Warhol ultimately used the photo to create 16 different works. Goldsmith, however, did not even learn about them until 2016, when Vanity Fair published them — without giving her credit — following Prince’s death.  As a preemptive measure, The […]

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Winning a Copyright Infringement Case Can Sometimes Have a High Cost

I recently ran across a story that illustrates the importance of choosing your legal battles carefully where copyright is concerned. In Golden v. Michael Grecco Productions, Inc., photographer Michael Grecco’s attorneys contacted blogger Lee Golden about using their client’s photo without permission on his entertainment blog. When they demanded he pay $25,000 for infringing on Grecco’s copyright, Golden sued.  Arguing fair use, he asked that the court find his use of the photo non-infringing. Moreover, […]

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Understanding the Role of Women in Copyright

In celebration of Women’s History Month, I thought it might be interesting to look at the impact that women have had on copyright in the U.S.  Like many institutions in America, the copyright office started with mostly male gatekeepers who tended to favor male creators and leave women out whenever possible. Despite this and many other obstacles, women have been present from the very beginning of American copyright. The role of women in this domain […]

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