Who wins, Batman or Copyright?

One of my favorite quotes goes something like this, “always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then be Batman.” Well, when it comes to copyrighting weeds, I would rather be Batman. Copyright Lawsuit In a recent Copyright Case, an artist sued the Batman actor, Val Kilmer, for stealing his golden weeds. Specifically, tumbleweeds. The Read more about Who wins, Batman or Copyright?[…]

101 Series – How to Prepare a Copyright Application

Copyright Registration Since 1978, registering a work of art for copyright protection is no longer required.  While a registration is not required, a copyright registration does provide enhanced rights, including the right to collect monetary damages.  Under federal law, a timely registered copyright allows the author of the work to collect damages which are provided Read more about 101 Series – How to Prepare a Copyright Application[…]

Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take on the issue of whether a copyright registration or a copyright application is required before bringing a copyright infringement suit. Currently, depending on the location of your copyright lawsuit, some courts require a copyright registration.  Other Courts simply require that you have filed a copyright application Read more about Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration[…]

Disney Accused of Looting (i.e. Infringing) Pirate Franchise

Copyright infringement typically involves copying someone else’s creative work. However, what happens when you copy something that was itself a copy of something you create? For example, what happens when someone creates a new website for you or your company; if the new website was based on your old website is it still infringing to Read more about Disney Accused of Looting (i.e. Infringing) Pirate Franchise[…]

Pay BEFORE You Play: Why Music Licensing Matters

Does your business need a license to play music? Do you really need a music license just to play cover songs? Music licensing is not something to gamble with. Spotify recently settled a class action lawsuit for more than $43 million after failing to pay publishers and songwriters when they streamed their music. While Spotify’s Read more about Pay BEFORE You Play: Why Music Licensing Matters[…]

SCOTUS: Whoever’s on First Denied Cert

The U.S. Supreme Court will not review the copyright infringement lawsuit based on a Broadway play’s use of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First.” “Hand to God” writer Robert Askins scripted a character to use portions of the famous duo’s comic act – for little more than a minute of the entire play. Askins’ victory Read more about SCOTUS: Whoever’s on First Denied Cert[…]

Music Copyright Law: “Musical Works” and Sound Recordings

Copyright Law: Distinguishing Between Musical Works and Sound Recordings In general terms, copyright protection extends to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” Pursuant to Section 102 of the federal Copyright Act (“the Act”), works of authorship include, among other categories: Musical works, including any accompanying words; and Sound recordings. As Read more about Music Copyright Law: “Musical Works” and Sound Recordings[…]

Free Use Images

The Metropolitan Museum announced access to nearly 400,000 images – for free. The Museum provides these images under an Open Access license for all public-domain works in the Met collection. The Creative Commons Zero (“CC0”) license allows use of the images without restriction. Entrepreneurs, artists, and business owners can now use and share these images Read more about Free Use Images[…]

FBI Anti-Piracy Seal

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has finalized a new policy regarding the use of the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal (APW Seal or FBI Anti-Piracy Seal). The new policy provides a general authorization allowing all copyright holders to use the APW Seal, subject to specific conditions of use. The APW Seal has been generally helpful Read more about FBI Anti-Piracy Seal[…]