• copyright

    Breach of a Copyright License in State Court

    by  • July 30, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    It’s unusual to see what looks like a copyright case in state court, particularly one that reaches the highest court. It is Associated Management Services, Inc. v. Ruff, a license case in the Supreme Court of Montana. Plaintiff Associated Management Services provides payroll and business services to its parent company Associated Employer, a non-profit...

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    The Scope of the License

    by  • May 1, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    The opinion is sparse on the facts and the law, so we have to do some interpretation. But it’s worth some thought about how the court construed the scope of an implied copyright license. Defendant Kushner wrote software for plaintiff Vickerman Co. Their relationship ended, Vickerman Co. sued Kushner (the court doesn’t say why,...

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    Condition or Covenant? The Answer

    by  • April 12, 2018 • copyright • 2 Comments

    I posed the question whether an overrun in a book printing was a breach of the copyright license granted for the use of photos in the book or just a breach of a covenant of the agreement. The court described the issue this way: According to Scholastic, “Corbis did not treat ongoing, high-volume...

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    Condition or Covenant? A Quiz

    by  • April 9, 2018 • copyright • 1 Comment

    When parties enter into an agreement that includes a copyright license, and there is thereafter a failure to comply with one of the terms in the agreement, a court will have to decide whether it is a failure to meet a condition precedent to the license, in which case the accused use is not...

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    Redbox Wins (for now)

    by  • February 26, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    The decision in Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC was, to me, unexpected. Who would have thought that Redbox would win a case about selling codes for digital download of Disney movies? The way Disney elected to distribute the codes was key to the outcome, so I don’t know how much ripple...

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    The Second Circuit on Assigning the Right to Sue

    by  • February 19, 2018 • copyright • 1 Comment

    I’ve written in the past (recursive link) about the phenomenon of copyright infringement lawsuits brought by photographers or their agents against textbook publishers. The textbook publishers allegedly exceed the license they had for the use of stock photos, either by exceeding the number of print copies authorized or using the works outside of the...

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    An Exclusive License or Exclusive Agent?

    by  • February 12, 2018 • copyright • 2 Comments

    I previously wrote about an Oregon decision, Fathers & Daughters Nev., LLC v. Zhang. The case was dismissed because the author of the film, the plaintiff, had exclusively licensed the infringed rights to someone else, so couldn’t sue for infringement itself. This post is a separate one to address an interesting footnote in the...

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    Not Enough Ownership

    by  • January 29, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Defendant Lingfu Zhang was accused of downloading the movie Fathers & Daughters via BitTorrent. Plaintiff Fathers & Daughters Nevada, LLC was the author and registered copyright owner of the film and sued Zhang. But copyright ownership is tricky. F&D had a sales agency agreement with non-party Goldenrod Holdings and its sub-sales agent Voltage Pictures.1...

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    Termination of a Public License

    by  • January 17, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of a “license.” This is a typical statement of what it is: license is not a contract; rather, a license is “permission to use a copyrighted work in a particular specified manner …” Saxelbye Architects, Inc. v. First Citizens Bank & Tr. Co., 1997 U.S. App....

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