• copyright

    The Security Interest Quiz Answer

    by  • January 20, 2016 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I previously offered a quiz asking you to decide who, between a secured party and a licensee, owned the rights in an improved version of software. And the answer is — Pro Marketing, owner of the security interest. I missed it, but it is a straightforward answer. The key is that the collateral included...

    Read more →

    A Security Interest Quiz

    by  • January 18, 2016 • copyright • 1 Comment

    Priva Technologies didn’t do well in its business. It financed its business, first, by taking a loan and granting a security interest in assets, including in its software, and second, as part of a reorganization, by assigning the improvements in the software to a licensee. Then it shuttered. Who owns the improvements? The original...

    Read more →

    “By Operation of Law” Addendum

    by  • December 14, 2015 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I recently chided a court for not recognizing that one of the parties was claiming ownership of copyright “by operation of law,” specifically “under the operation of California law … governing partnerships, promoters, agents, fiduciaries and cofounders, not as a question of employment, work for hire … or joint work.” The court never reached...

    Read more →

    “By Operation of Law”

    by  • December 3, 2015 • copyright • 3 Comments

    I’m seeing what I believe is a misunderstanding of the statutory section describing transfer of copyright. Section 204(a) of the Copyright Act, titled “Execution of Transfers of Copyright Ownership,” says A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum...

    Read more →

    Infringement Without Confusion?

    by  • November 9, 2015 • copyright, trademark • 8 Comments

    It’s a simple case, but simple doesn’t mean you get to take shortcuts on the legal rationale. At the end of 1998 Ford and ThermoAnalytics entered into a License Agreement for RadTherm software for heat mapping. In the agreement, FGTI (Ford Global Technologies, Inc.) granted ThermoAnalytics an exclusive license to develop and commercialize “FGTI...

    Read more →

    A Proper Copyright Assignment

    by  • November 2, 2015 • copyright • 1 Comment

    I have called Righthaven the gift that keeps on giving. In Righthaven, the plaintiff tried to obscure the fact that there wasn’t a true copyright assignment by putting the relevant terms in different agreements. Righthaven, a copyright troll, eventually got whacked for it by the 9th Circuit. Now, when defendants see any kind of...

    Read more →

    Copyright and Egyptian Law

    by  • October 26, 2015 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Jay-Z’s win in a copyright infringement suit has been widely reported. Jay-Z obtained a license to use an Egyptian work written by Baligh Namdi called “Khosara, Khosara” in “Big Pimpin”: Namdi’s heir, Fahmy, sued Jay-Z claiming that “Big Pimpin” was an unlawful derivative work, infringing both the moral and economic rights in Khosara, Khosara....

    Read more →

    Beware UGC

    by  • October 7, 2015 • copyright • 1 Comment

    In a contest that requires a creative contribution, the contest sponsor will generally require that the participant assign the copyright in the contributed work. LittleMismatched did no differently, but it ran into some trouble because its target demographic is young girls. Mix children and contract and it gets a little trickier. The plaintiff, I.C.,...

    Read more →

    The Copyright License As a Property Right

    by  • August 3, 2015 • copyright • 1 Comment

    There are a slew of lawsuits against textbook publishers alleging use of stock photography beyond the scope of the original license (recursive link). Whether one characterizes it as massive intentional infringement, or a simple failure of the publishers to track their use and true-up on their licenses, it looks like it is a pervasive...

    Read more →