Tag Archives: Copyright

Digital Copyright Ruling Creates New Vulnerabilities for Moderated Online Platforms

A recent federal appeals court decision may lead online platforms that post user-generated content filtered by moderators to think twice before posting copyrighted material. In Mavrix Photographs, LLC v. LiveJournal, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor for “infringement of copyright by reason of … Continue Reading

Louis Vuitton Loses Lawsuit Against Maker of Parody Tote Bags

Parody consumer-goods brands and fans of tongue-in-cheek humor have reason to be relieved after a federal court of appeals affirmed a grant of summary judgment against luxury handbag maker Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. (“Louis Vuitton”), dismissing its lawsuit against My Other Bag, Inc. (“MOB”), a seller of parody canvas tote bags. Louis Vuitton brought suit … Continue Reading

Congress Introduces First Post-Obama Copyright Review Policy Proposal

Last week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee introduced their first of many upcoming policy proposals aimed at modernizing U.S. copyright law, and, specifically, the U.S. Copyright Office. This proposal sets out specific changes for the Copyright Office, including creating an advisory committee, introducing an information technology modernization plan, increasing the Office’s … Continue Reading

Copyright Office Starts New Process for DMCA Safe Harbor Registration Today

Last month, the Copyright Office issued a final rule governing the designation of agents to receive notifications of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). To help streamline the process, the Copyright office created a new, electronic filing system so that brands and advertisers can efficiently submit and update their designated agent.  The online … Continue Reading

Music Sampling Back in “Vogue”

With its decision in VMG Salsoul v. Ciccone, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals created a circuit split that could greatly impact copyright infringement claims based on unlicensed music sampling.  For the advertising industry, this decision affects the risk assessment involved when creating or using music that contains “samples”.  Read on for more. On June … Continue Reading

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google, claiming that its digitization of millions of books without Plaintiffs’ permission violated copyright law. The court on appeal, acknowledging that this dispute “test[ed] the … Continue Reading

Copyright Protection Goes ‘To the Batmobile!’ says the Ninth Circuit

While the Caped Crusader drives around in his Batmobile protecting Gotham from its fringe, copyright law protects the Batmobile from infringers—this, according to the Ninth Circuit in DC Comics v. Towle. The Batmobile is more than just Batman’s ride; it is its own comic-book character worthy of copyright protection. In reaching this conclusion, the Ninth … Continue Reading

“Blurred Lines” but Clear Verdict: Jury Awards Gaye Estate $7.3 Million in Damages for Copyright Infringement

In a verdict on March 10, a Los Angeles federal jury decided “Blurred Lines,” written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, substantially borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got To Give It Up” without permission. As a result, the jury awarded the family of the late soul singer more than $7.3 million in damages. In … Continue Reading

Google on a litigation roll

Google is celebrating yet another significant litigation victory today, after a federal judge in New York ruled in favour of Google in the $1 billion claim made against them by Viacom. This follows Google’s recent victory in March this year in the case brought by Louis Vuitton about AdWords (see our Ad Guide). Viacom sued Google in 2006, after its … Continue Reading

Seeing double: using synonyms may not prevent copyright infringement

A recent, and somewhat surprising, Australian case has highlighted the risk for advertising agencies when preparing advertising copy. In Budget Eyewear v Specsavers [2010] FCA 507, the Australian Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction stopping Specsavers from running an ad campaign in which the words used were extremely similar to wording used in a campaign … Continue Reading
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