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Copyright Infringement

This category contains 5 posts

Did You Know: Open Source Software (“OSS”) Is a Major Player in Software Development & Use

The open source software (“OSS”) revolution affects most software applications. To avoid risks of violating the creator’s licensed conditions, business owners and developers should know whether any OSS is present and under what terms it may be used. Continue reading

LED ZEPPELIN TO DEFEND “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN”

WHO OWNS THE COPYRIGHT IN A FILM?

Because many creative people participate in the making of an artistic, documentary or commercial film, in order to exploit the film efficiently, it is critical to pinpoint who owns the copyright in the finished work as well as in the raw footage. To address the problem, Congress adopted a mechanism in the Copyright Act which treats any such contribution as a work-made-for-hire. In a perfect world, that should solve the problem. But what if one of the major contributors, (i.e., the director or an actor) fails to sign such an agreement? Would the producer be helpless and subject to the vagaries of competing claims to the film’s copyright? Not according the 2nd Circuit in a recent decision. Continue reading

Can You Learn Anything from Monster Energy’s Run-In with the Beastie Boys?

The Beastie Boys band sued Monster Energy Company for it’s use without permission of 5 songs by the Beastie Boys and verbal references to the band and a member, Adam Yauch, in a promotional video. The trial judge strongly criticized Monster’s negligible music licensing procedures. The one-sided victory of the Beastie Boys for copyright infringement and false endorsement has led to Monster being found financially liable for damages and attorney fees. Continue reading

What Do Justin Bieber, Usher Raymond, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith Have in Common?

Justin Bieber, Usher Raymond, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith have all recently been challenged by claims of copyright infringement based on allegations that they incorporated other people’s music into their recordings. If celebrities can be found liable for copyright infringement and ordered to pay millions of dollars, what should non-celebrity musicians and producers do to avoid a similar fate? Continue reading