• copyright

    Too Late for Work-Made-For-Hire

    by  • August 7, 2019 • copyright • 2 Comments

    There’s a recent decision out of the Second Circuit about an after-the-fact work-made-for-hire agreement. There is a circuit split; the Seventh and Ninth Circuits have held that a “work made for hire” agreement must be executed before the creation of the work. However, the Second Circuit held in Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Dumas that...

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    Notifying Co-Authors About a Lawsuit

    by  • June 17, 2019 • copyright • 0 Comments

    The Copyright Act of 1976 made a fundamental change to copyright law by making copyright divisible. Authors can give someone else exclusive rights in a portion of their copyright, for example the exclusive right of first publication, retaining no right of first publication for themselves. The drafters of the Copyright Act also contemplated that...

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    Obligations versus Benefits

    by  • May 28, 2019 • copyright, trademark • 0 Comments

    Apparently someone is still interested in the Amiga operating system. In 2009, non-party Amiga, Inc. and defendant Hyperion Entertainment C.V.B.A. entered into a settlement agreement that resolved a number of lawsuits between them. The plaintiff, Cloanto Corp., was a licensee of Amiga at the time of the settlement agreement and mentioned in the agreement...

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    A Rare Section 117 Win

    by  • May 13, 2019 • copyright • 0 Comments

    We have a rare win under Copyright Act § 117(a), a section of the Copyright Act that allows someone to copy or adapt a computer program under very narrow circumstances. Invocation of the section has been largely unsuccessful because it only applies where one is the owner of a copy of the program. However,...

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    Were the Assignments Valid?

    by  • March 18, 2019 • copyright • 2 Comments

    Sometimes a case sends you back to the basics. This was one of those cases for me. Copyright infringement claims against Dollar General appear to be the driving force behind a sequence of assignments of the copyrights for some toys. The relevant chain of title for the copyrights was Acquawood => Focus Brand Limited...

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    Who Is Not a Beneficial Owner of Copyright

    by  • February 25, 2019 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Six years into the case, we’re on to the third decision on ownership in the case of Roberts v. Gordy and have yet to reach the question of infringement. In the first opinion, the district court held that, although there were three registrations for the infringed work, none was effective and so the court...

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    The Cluster That Is Copyright Registration

    by  • October 1, 2018 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Subtitled “Writing it so @RickSanders doesn’t have to“ The copyright registration system, as it relates to an infringement case, is utterly and completely broken. We need reform. Here are the facts we’ll assume are true for purposes of today’s rant. Plaintiff SellPoolSuppliesOnline.com, LLC (SPSO) provided Ugly Pools Arizona, Inc., the defendant and a company...

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    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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