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
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 boundaries of fair use,” ruled in favor of Google, allowing the search-engine to shelve this case in the W column. Below are my key takeaways from the court’s decision. First, here’s what you need to know about the case: Google scanned millions of books—without permission from the rights holders—and made them accessible to Internet users, who in turn, could search and view randomized pages (snippets) of the books on Google’s site (Google Books) for free. Google did this as part of its Library Project. With nearly twenty million books digitized from some of the world’s largest libraries, Google Books is a powerful research tool that provides users with information not “obtainable in lifetimes of searching.” So why did the court conclude Google’s unauthorized copying of millions of books didn’t violate copyright law? Fair use, of course! Here are the key legal takeaways from the decision:…
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Transformative Use: Danger Is in the Definition
In April, 2013 the 2nd Circuit concluded that certain works of the well-known appropriation artist, Richard Prince, which used Patrick Cariou’s photographs in a series of collages, constituted fair use. In Kienitz v. Sconnie Nation LLC, U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook joins in on criticism that courts, such as in the Cariou case, are placing too much emphasis on the transformative use factor in considering fair use. However, Law360 quotes Reed Smith’s Brad Newberg who zeroes in on a deeper danger for authors’ derivative rights: “The issue with Cariou is not that it gives great weight to a transformative use, but how it defines transformative use.”…
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Supreme Court Rules that Aereo Violated Copyrights
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed its decision in ABC v. Aereo, ruling that Aereo’s service of providing its subscribers with streaming broadcasts obtained through the company’s miniature antennas is illegal. The court ruled that over-the-air broadcasts count as a public performance and that Aereo essentially is no different from cable companies, which are subject to limitations on freely transmitting programming under the Copyright Act.
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Copyright Owners Go the Distance with ‘Raging Bull’ Victory
In a recent Forbes article, Brad Newberg discussed in depth the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., and ways for businesses to adapt in light of the shocking decision. With its decision in Petrella, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that in the world of copyright infringement litigation, time is not always of the essence. The question presented was simple: “[W]hether the equitable defense of laches (unreasonable, prejudicial delay in commencing suit) may bar relief on a copyright infringement claim brought within § 507(b) [of the Copyright Act]’s three-year statute of limitations period.” And the Court’s answer was clear: “[C]ourts are not at liberty to jettison Congress’ judgment on the timeliness of suit. Laches, we hold, cannot be invoked to preclude adjudication of a claim for damages brought within the three-year window.” Yet, the implications of this case going forward are not quite as simple or clear.
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Reed Smith to Participate at World IP Day Event in NYC
This Friday, April 25, Reed Smith will be part of a World IP Day event in New York City titled, Movies a Global Passion, hosted by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Keri S. Bruce will be speaking on a panel to discuss intellectual property in films, alongside David Morrison (Indie Film Clinic) and Neil J. Rosini (Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, P.C.). Among the event’s keynote speakers are Michelle Lee, Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Congressman Hakeem Jeffries; and Congresswoman Grace Meng (invited).
The event is FREE and open to the public, and will feature an exhibition by film studios, directors and IP service providers.
RSVP now for this event at tinyurl.com/m8wabct.
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The Colour Purple: Cadbury loses battle to register its signature purple shade
Cadbury has lost its Supreme Court battle to register as a trade mark its iconic colour purple (known as Pantone 2685C), ending a 10-year legal battle between Cadbury and its competitor Nestlé. The UK Supreme Court has refused Cadbury’s application to appeal against an October 2013 Court of Appeal decision which ruled in Nestlé’s favour…
Building an Online Strategy to Preserve Your Brand
Online trademark infringement, which includes domain names, websites, online auction platforms and keywords, has seen a significant spike in recent years and presents unique challenges to trademark owners and government authorities around the world. Clark Lackert of our Intellectual Property group discusses how to protect your trademarks in our electronic-driven world in his recent article titled, Counterfeits and Infringements Online – A Global Overview of Liability, published in the World Trademark Review (www.worldtrademarkreview.com) by The IP Media Group.
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Patent Assertion Entities Under Attack
On December 5, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3309, also known as “The Innovation Act”, whose supporters believe will help to address the issue of Patent Assertion Entities (also referred to as “Patent Trolls”) by placing a greater burden and risk on the asserting parties. For more information on the bill and…
The New gTLDs Are Here. Are You Ready?
While you are reading this, the Internet is changing. Over the past several years, you may (or may not) have heard that the number of Top Level Domains (such as .com, .net, .eu, etc.) was going to grow exponentially at some point in the future. Well, the future is here.
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