• copyright

    One Work or Two?

    by  • May 26, 2020 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I read the headlines about Johnson v. Nike with passing surprise, because the case was decided of on a motion to dismiss. The designs aren’t that different and what crossed my brief attention led me to think that it was a copyright infringement case about the similarity of these two designs: But it is...

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    Second and Ninth Circuits Split and Also Agree

    by  • May 18, 2020 • copyright • 1 Comment

    I have long disagreed with the Ninth Circuit on a standard that I think is unduly crabbed. I’m talking specifically about the cause of action, and therefore remedies available, when the obligations in an agreement that include a copyright license are not met. The courts are in agreement that the obligations can be put...

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    Accrual of an Authorship Claim

    by  • May 13, 2020 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Copyright ownership claims are not unusual. But what about authorship? Often the distinction doesn’t matter because, in infringement claims, the owner stands in the shoes of author. But it does matter to termination – the author (or the author’s heirs) is the only one with termination rights; a mere owner cannot exercise a termination...

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    The Implied Sublicense

    by  • March 23, 2020 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Plaintiff Photographic Illustrators Corp. (PIC) did beauty shots of lightbulbs for Osram Sylvania. The parties had a falling out and in 2006 entered into a settlement agreement. The agreement settled all past claims and set forth the terms of the parties’ future relationship. Relevant to the case, Sylvania had a broad license to use...

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    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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