Intellectual Property Blog

Tag: copyright infringement

Ed Sheeran’s Win Shows Building Blocks of Music Cannot be Copyrighted

Musical artists have always had to deal with questions of copyright. In recent years, however, many have felt a shiver up their spine from copyright issues that deal with the basic building blocks of music. That encompasses fundamentals like chord progressions, rhythmic profile, and “feel.”  The case that stirred things up was the estate of Marvin Gaye winning an infringement case against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for “Blurred Lines.” It caused many artists to […]

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“Mass Copyright Infringement”: Internet Archive Faces Copyright Judgment

As we have discussed, a central theme of U.S. Copyright law is the stimulation of creative ideas, their free exchange, and commercial profitability from them. This is why copyright enforcement is not black-and-white/all-or-nothing – not all infringement is considered damaging. This question has come up regarding a recent ruling from a Southern NY District  Court judge, whose opinion landed in favor of four major publishers against the Internet Archive for mass copyright infringement. The publishers sued […]

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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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Exceeding Software User-Limit a Much More Dangerous Proposition Than You Might Realize

Written by Guest Author, Marks Gray Associate Logan McEwen On February 25, 2021, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Bitmanagement Software GMBH v. U.S. At issue was software developed for the U.S. Navy which required payment on a per-user basis, and what it meant if the Navy allowed more users of the software than it paid for. Pushing aside the issues of “how to sue the federal government” and “calculating damages […]

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Copyright Owners Seeking Less than $30,000 in Damages Can Now Skip Federal Court

Are you the owner of a copyright that has been violated? Are you seeking damages that are less than $30,000? Good news is here! You may have heard that in December of last year, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (CASE Act) as part of their COVID relief bill. The CASE Act allows for the creation of a separate copyright infringement tribunal system for small claims cases.  In other words, […]

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Should You Talk to Your Child about Copyright Law?

There are many important issues that parents know they need to talk to their kids about. Drugs. The importance of a good education. The birds and the bees. One thing that probably flies right past most parents’ radars is Copyright law. Why in the world would you want to talk to your children about copyright law? Because kids — and honestly, all of us, really — are encountering copyright issues on a daily basis whether […]

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