• Posts Tagged ‘work made for hire’

    The 2d Circuit Is Part Way There on Eden Toys

    by  • August 1, 2016 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I have long complained about a defense that comes up in copyright cases, originating with the Second Circuit’s Eden Toys, Inc. v. Florelee Undergarment Co. Eden Toys involved a challenge to standing based on the timing of of an exclusive license. The case has heavily-quoted language about the challenge: In this case, in which...

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    “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...

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    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.,...

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    The Year Is the Key

    by  • May 29, 2015 • copyright • 0 Comments

    I previously asked readers to “Name the Owner” of a copyrighted work. And the answer is: Urbont does not own the copyright* and the case is dismissed. The key is that the work was created in 1966, so whether the Iron Man Theme was a work for hire is decided under the Copyright Act...

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    Name the Owner

    by  • May 26, 2015 • copyright • 2 Comments

    Below are the facts, and here’s the question—who owns the copyright? Answer in a later post. In 1966, songwriter and plaintiff Jack Urbont was aspiring. A friend introduced him to Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame who was developing a television show called “Marvel Super Heroes.” Urbont wasn’t familiar with the Marvel superheroes, so...

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    Get Those Agreements Signed

    by  • February 10, 2014 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Where a work is a “work made for hire” by virtue of it being specially commissioned, there must be a writing saying so signed by both parties. And it really has to be signed. On July 10, 2010 Zenova signed an agreement to create a website framework for defendant Mobile Methodology, LLC (“MML”). The...

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    Litigation as Commercial Strategy

    by  • November 6, 2013 • copyright • 0 Comments

    In Complex Systems, Inc. v. ABN AMRO Bank N.V., plaintiff CSI licensed its Banktrade software to an ABN AMRO (“ABN”) information technology subsidiary (“IT”) for use by the entire ABN enterprise. The case arose because ABN sold IT, along with the license, to Bank of America but ABN nevertheless continued to use the software. IT...

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    The Bankruptcy Court Still Has to Approve It

    by  • April 10, 2013 • copyright • 0 Comments

    Here’s a bankruptcy practice tip—you can’t just go signing documents when your company is in bankruptcy. Defendant Deep claimed to own the copyright in the “Aimster” software of yore. He accused plaintiff XAC, LLC, a subsidiary of Xerox, of copyright infringement. Deep had three different theories for why he owned the copyright in the...

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    When a Logo Has Two Owners

    by  • March 20, 2013 • copyright, trademark • 0 Comments

    The last two posts were about a case, DeliverMed Holdings, LLC v. Schaltenbrand, involving ownership of a logo. In the first post, it turned out that the copyright in the logo was still owned by the designer, not the company using the logo. @WatermarkIAM tweeted a caution: “You must make sure #copyright ownership is...

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