Great stories about patents and other IP
Fractional Licenses Get the Green Light in U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc.
Oct10

Fractional Licenses Get the Green Light in U.S. v. Broadcast Music Inc.

Upon the request of performance rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the US Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted a review of BMI’s 1941 consent decree. The decree allowed BMI to issue licenses for works to which it owns all the rights. New York’s Southern District Court overruled the DOJ’s interpretation, holding that the decree does not prevent the issuance of fractional licenses for music, nor does it require the...

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Musical Domino theory fails to make a copyright impact in Loomis v. Cornish
Sep21

Musical Domino theory fails to make a copyright impact in Loomis v. Cornish

Disputes over musical copyright have taken up quite a lot of time in the Ninth Circuit of the US Federal Courts lately. In their most recent decision, the judges upheld a district court ruling, which found that English singer-songwriter Jessie J had not infringed the copyright of plaintiff Will Loomis of his song “Bright Red Chords.” The district court had argued that Loomis failed to show that Jessie J and her fellow songwriters had...

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Vicarious and Contributory: Musicians may be liable for their album covers
Sep14

Vicarious and Contributory: Musicians may be liable for their album covers

Singer songwriter Jeremih has been told that he can be held responsible for a copyright infringement on one of his album covers – a salutary lesson about how far copyright can reach. New York’s Southern District Court just refused a motion to dismiss so-called “vicarious and contributory copyright infringement claims” against the musician and producer, “Jeremih.” The legal actions taken by the plaintiff in Rams v. Def Jam Recordings...

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Fair Use in the Third Dimension: Analyzing Section 52 of India’s Copyright Act
Sep09

Fair Use in the Third Dimension: Analyzing Section 52 of India’s Copyright Act

Adding an additional dimension to a patented object comes with new legal ramifications in India. Section 52(w) of India’s Copyright Act has recently attracted attention following an order by Calcutta’s High Court in Hi Tech Chemicals Private Limited & Anr. v. Allied Metallurgical Products Private Limited (2016). Section 52(w) provides for a fair use exception where a two-dimensional (2D) work is transformed into a...

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Stairway to Hefty Costs: Led Zeppelin to Carry Cost of Successful Defense
Aug26

Stairway to Hefty Costs: Led Zeppelin to Carry Cost of Successful Defense

Successfully defending a copyright infringement suit can come at a hefty cost, as the members of the rock band Led Zeppelin recently discovered. A California District Court has refused to award attorney’s fees and associated costs, even though they won the infringement dispute Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin over the rights to the band’s famous song “Stairway to Heaven.” The court found that the lawsuit brought was neither frivolous nor...

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Off Season is Looking Bright for HBO: District Court Dismisses Case Against Creators of “Ballers”
Aug19

Off Season is Looking Bright for HBO: District Court Dismisses Case Against Creators of “Ballers”

Football, drama, and scripts: these elements all factor into a charge of copyright infringement against Home Box Office, Inc. In late June, California District Court dismissed a claim of copyright infringement against the creators of “Ballers,” an HBO television series about a retired football player who offers financial management advice to current players. In Silas v. Home Box Office, Inc., the Court found no substantial...

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The Skies Ain’t Looking So Blue: who owns the music? The case of Flo & Eddie Inc v. Sirius XM Radio Inc
Jul25

The Skies Ain’t Looking So Blue: who owns the music? The case of Flo & Eddie Inc v. Sirius XM Radio Inc

“I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you, for all my liiiifeee.” Those are lyrics by a celebrated 1960s rock band, The Turtles, and it’s one of the tunes that’s subject to a copyright dispute with a prominent radio network. Last month, the Eleventh Circuit asked Florida’s Supreme Court to determine, whether state law accepts common law copyright on sound recordings, and if this copyright involves the exclusive rights of public...

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