Copyright Infringement

Friday, April 26, 2019

Copyright Infringement

A copyright owner has exclusive legal rights granted by the federal Copyright Act. More specifically, section 106 of the Copyright Act, under Title 17 of the United States Code, protects a copyright owner from someone else infringing, without permission or legal authority, on the rights granted by this law.
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Friday, March 29, 2019

Carlton Dance Cannot Receive Copyright, According to US Copyright Office

Why is the Carlton Dance ineligible for copyright protection?

Fans of the 1990’s TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” will surely remember the iconic “Carlton Dance.”  Throughout the series, character Carlton, played by actor Alfonso Ribeiro, would break out into a dance involving swaying his arms and hips enthusiastically.  Recently, the popular videogame Fortnite started offering the Carlton Dance as an option for its avatars to perform.  Mr. Ribeiro filed suit against Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, claiming that his dance should be protected and use of it by Epic Games Read more . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NY Judge Holds Embedded Tweets Can Constitute Copyright Infringement

What is the “server test?”

A case currently before a New York federal judge is already causing ripples among the legal community. In the case of Justin Goldman v. Breitbart News Network, LLC, plaintiff Goldman accused several publications of Read more . . .

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Owners of Hit “Happy Together” Lose Copyright Case in Florida

Are recordings made before 1972 subject to copyright protection?

The owners of The Turtles’ hit song “Happy Together” sued Sirius XM Radio seeking enforcement of its rights in federal court in Florida.  Recently, Florida’s highest court ruled that the owners of the popular song could not force radio stations to pay for its use of the pre-1972 song.  The court held that Florida law does not recognize the exclusive right of public performance in pre-1972 recordings, which were made prior to the implementation of new federal copyright laws. This ruling echoes an earlier New York court ruling.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

House Bill Proposes Creation of Copyright Small Claims Court

How might a copyright small claims court benefit independent artists?

A House bill was recently introduced which would allow for the creation of a small claims court for copyright enforcement.  The bill, officially named the CASE Act, or Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017, could allow for more photographers and independent artists to enforce their copyrights in a low cost, efficient manner. Our NYC copyright infringement lawyers at Thomas Lancia PLLC discuss the potential new copyright claims court below.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Court Issues Novel Copyright Decision Based on Dr. Phil Videos

What is fair use?

A unique copyright infringement lawsuit involving television personality Dr. Phil recently lead to a novel copyright decision. The case started in 2015, when Leah Rothman, a director on Dr. Phil’s show, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Phil, accusing him of inflicting emotional distress and falsely imprisoning her.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Paul McCartney Settles Lawsuit with Sony/ATV to Reclaim Copyrights

Singer Paul McCartney recently settled his lawsuit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing which sought to reclaim copyrights to several Beatles songs.  McCartney had originally filed suit on January 18, seeking to be declared the holder of copyrights to several songs, including “Hey Jude.” “Yesterday,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  McCartney had previously been outbid by Michael Jackson for the Beatles’ Song rights, which later went to Sony/ATV.  Under new copyright laws, McCartney can reclaim song rights after periods of time have elapsed.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Fair Use Defense Explained

What is the fair use defense to copyright infringement?

A recent court case involving LeBron James’ tattoo could set important case precedent on the issue of the fair use defense.  In the case, Solid Oak Sketches, the owner of James’ prominent lion’s head tattoo, filed suit against Take-Two Interactive Software for copyright infringement after Take-Two used the tattoo on its virtual LeBron James in a video game.  Take-Two filed a counter claim seeking to have the court declare the video game’s display of the copyrighted tattoo was either fair use or de minimum use.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Creator of the Wall Street Bull Accuses “Fearless Girl” of Copyright Violation

Does the “Fearless Girl” statute infringe on the copyright of the “Charging Bull”?

The 7,000-pound bronze statue of a charging bull has long been a part of New York City’s landscape.  Created in the 1980’s by artist Arturo Di Modica, the bull located outside of the New York Stock Exchange was intended, according to its creator, to be a symbol of strength.  Recently, the statue of a young girl appeared triumphantly standing a few feet from the bull.  This statue is known as the “Fearless Girl” and it was created by Kristen Visbal.  The “Fearless Girl” has attracted a huge fan base for its message of female empowerment, but now the creator of the “Charging Bull” is calling for its removal.
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Virtual Reality & Copyright Protection

Do existing copyright laws protect virtual reality applications and works?

Virtual reality (VR) involves computer generated simulation of three-dimensional images or environments that users can interact with using special electronics, such as headsets or special gloves.  VR can be described as “near-reality,” and with recent innovations in the field of virtual reality, users are increasingly being immersed in fantastically realistic realms.  The year 2016 was considered a turning point moment for virtual reality due to the release of several new systems, including Oculus Rift.  While thus far virtual reality for video games has been the focus of most creators, several tech companies have indicated that VR will soon be applied far beyond.  In coming years, it may change the way we surf the web and use our computers.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Photographer Carol Highsmith Seeks $1 Billion from Getty for Copyright Violation

Are images in the public domain allowed to be sold by others?

Carol Highsmith is a celebrated photographer whose works have been featured in books, magazines, and even on two postage stamps.  Highsmith is also known for her willingness to share her images to the public, with thousands of her images currently available for free to citizens.  But when Highsmith was sent a letter accusing her of copyright infringement for using her own image on her web page, she took action.

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