Attorneys Handling Copyright Law

Changing the Way Law is Practiced . . . One Copyright Law Blog at a Time

Is A Registered Copyright Necessary for a DMCA Takedown?

Imagine this: you just attended a concert at your local concert venue. Assuming it was a lot of fun, you want to share the experience with friends and family, so you post the photos you took on Facebook before going to bed. When you wake up the next morning, you sip your coffee and read […]

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Accidental Copyright Infringement Is Still Infringement

“Strict Liability” is a term used to describe legal liability in which a Plaintiff does not have to prove a Defendant’s fault, but simply show that their rights were infringed. Copyright infringement is strict liability, which means you remain liable for copyright infringement even though you did not intend or realize you were infringing a […]

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Can Derivative Works Be Copyrighted?

Image yourself an artist (of any sort) who has drawn such great inspiration from another (copyrighted) work that you would like to modify that work to create something new.  Are you allowed to do so?  Could you get a copyright to your new creation? As with most questions in law, the answer is: it depends. […]

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Fair Use Under Copyright Law

Not every use of a copyrighted work is considered infringement.  Fair Use is an exception that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holder.  Typically, fair use includes categories such as criticism/parody, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.  When determining whether fair use exists, courts look to whether the […]

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Copyright Statute of Limitations: Don’t Sleep On Your Rights

Recently, I received a call from an individual indicating that their copyrighted work had been infringed.  My first thought is that Traverse Legal can easily assist with a Copyright Infringement Notice Letter or DMCA Take Down Notice.  That is, however, until they tell me that they found out about the infringement four years ago.  FOUR years […]

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International Copyright Protection

So you have registered your copyright with the United States Copyright Office, which gives you robust protection and the option for more sizable damages in the event of infringement.  But what if your registered copyright is being infringed in another country?  As there is technically no such thing as an “international copyright” (copyrights are only […]

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Queen B Must “Get in Formation” for a Lawsuit

The estate of late rapper Messy Mya has sued Beyoncé for copyright infringement, alleging that Beyoncé used Messy Mya’s voice without permission in the “Formation” music video.  Specifically, Messy Mya can be heard in the beginning of the song saying “What happened after New Orleans?” and “B***h I’m back, by popular demand,” as well as […]

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What is Right of Publicity?

Somewhat related to a claim of copyright infringement (and often preempted by such a claim – more on that later), is the claim for Right of Publicity.  While sometimes available to any individual, Right of Publicity is typically aimed at protecting the name or likeness of famous individuals.  A claim for violation of Right of […]

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How Animals Like Grumpy Cat Use Copyright & Trademark to Protect Their Brand

“I had fun once – it was awful”; “It’s not me – It’s you”; and “Nope” are phrases commonly associated with Grumpy Cat, the frowning feline who became an internet sensation for her mean mugging memes.  Unless we are dealing in patent law, intellectual property and animals do not frequently overlap.  Even though a Federal […]

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No Attorney’s Fees For BitTorrent Download Of “The Cobbler”

In relation to our recent Copyright Radio Show about the risk of copyright infringement liability stemming from illegal downloads, an Oregon Court declined to hold a BitTorrent Defendant responsible for Plaintiff’s attorney fees.  In Cobbler Nev., LLC v. Cerritos, the Plaintiff accused Defendant of violating the Copyright Act by using BitTorrent to illegally download Adam […]

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