Topic: Copyright

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Go Team Copyright!

On March 22, 2017, while millions of viewers were watching U.S. college basketball teams vie for the national championship, the uniforms worn by the cheerleaders became the focus of a U.S. Supreme Court copyright ruling. In Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands Inc., a majority of the Supreme Court ruled that the two-dimensional designs on … Continue reading

Productivity Commission’s Report on Australia’s IP system

The Inquiry Report into Intellectual Property Arrangements recently published by the Productivity Commission (Report) argues that Australia’s IP system is weighted too heavily in favour of rights holders and against the interests of the broader community. It has made various recommendations to correct this perceived imbalance. This article considers some of the recommended changes which, … Continue reading

Copyrightability of private standards in federal regulations

On February 2, 2017, a federal trial court judge in Washington, D.C. ruled, in a 55-page opinion, that private standards developing organizations (“SDOs”) do not lose their copyright or trademark protection if a federal regulation adopts their standards. Background This case, American Society for Testing and Materials v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., Case. No. 13-cv-1215 (TSC) (D.D.C. … Continue reading

Who goes to Rio: Sports sponsorship and ambush marketing in Australia

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is urging the public to support “true, valued Partners” after it lost its last minute bid to prevent ambush marketing ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Australian Olympic Committee, Inc. v. Telstra Corporation Limited [2016] FCA 857 (29 July 2016). The decision by the Federal Court of Australia highlights the … Continue reading

Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” victory rambles on to a ruling on attorneys’ fees

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones—the remaining members of Led Zeppelin—along with several recording industry defendants, prevailed in federal court on June 23 in a copyright jury trial over the introduction of the band’s legendary song, “Stairway to Heaven.” The band had been accused of copying parts of the song “Taurus” by the … Continue reading

One simple hack to make your hackathon a greater success

Businesses across all industries are increasingly gathering dynamic and agile thinkers to brainstorm ideas at hackathon events.  These are short-duration, high-intensity think-tank sessions, aimed at solving problems or generating ideas to take the business to the next level, sometimes with prizes or bonuses awarded for the best ideas.  But there’s one important hack to use … Continue reading

Monkeys have no (copy)rights

Earlier this year, you may have seen the “monkey selfie” story in the news again, with the United States District Court ruling that a wild macaque cannot own copyright in the photos it took of itself using a camera left lying around. (The camera was owned by nature photographer David Slater.)  See Order, Naruto, et … Continue reading

DMCA exemption for 3D Printers (Part 6 of 6)

As we have reported, the sixth triennial rulemaking proceeding by the Librarian of Congress resulted in a wide range of DMCA exemptions. Today, in our final post, we cover a new exemption involving the use of 3D printers. 3D printing 101 3D printing technology allows users to convert digital data into physical objects. The 3D … Continue reading

DMCA Exemption – vehicle software (Part 5 of 6)

In the sixth triennial proceeding to determine Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) exemptions, the Copyright Office adopted an exemption concerning the electronic control unit (“ECU”) software found in automobiles and agricultural vehicles. The new exemption permits owners to circumvent the technological control measures (TMPs) found in ECU software for the purpose of diagnosing, repairing, and … Continue reading

DMCA exemption for smart TVs (Part 4 of 6)

Today, in our multi-part series on DMCA exemptions, we cover a new exemption concerning “smart TVs”. In addition to the exemptions for jailbreaking devices such as smartphones and tablets that we described in Part 3, of our series, the Copyright Office has also added an exemption for jailbreaking smart TVs. The exemption is a limited … Continue reading

DMCA exemptions for “unlocking” and “jailbreaking” wireless devices (Part 3 of 6)

As we discussed in two previous posts, the U.S. Copyright Office just published its most recent set of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). In Part 1 of our analysis we discussed the DMCA’s statutory privacy exception. Part 2 addressed exemptions related to medical devices. Today, in Part 3, we cover the exemption … Continue reading

Can you copyright your yoga routine?

The United States Court of Appeals has ruled that a sequence of twenty six yoga poses developed by Bikram Choudhury, published in a book in 1979 with descriptions, photographs and drawings and taught as part of a teacher training course since 1994, could not be the subject of copyright protection because it was an idea, … Continue reading

Medical device exemptions to the prohibition on circumvention (Part 2 of 6)

As we discussed in our last post, the U.S. Copyright Office recently published its sixth set of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). In Part 1 of our multi-part analysis we discussed the DMCA’s statutory privacy exception.  Today we begin with the new exemptions – specifically two exemptions related to medical devices. The … Continue reading

DMCA Non-Infringement of Copyright: Cars, Devices, and the Internet of Things (Part 1)

On October 25, 2015, the U.S. Copyright Office published its sixth set of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Our multi-part post will explore practical aspects of these new federal regulations. We will cover topics ranging from education uses of films to medical device software to “jailbreaking” smartphones and tablets to the Internet … Continue reading

The art of copyright protection in the real estate industry

The following is a reproduction originally published in Property Week (Aug. 7, 2015).   Today, real estate developments are increasingly marketed as ‘destinations’ in their own right. Even before any development work starts, there will be considerable media interest and, through the power of the internet, developments can quickly gain visibility with potential tenants and … Continue reading

Update: European Parliament approves copyright reform

Earlier this month, we reported that the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament had approved an amended EU copyright evaluation report (the “Report”) outlining a reform of copyright law in the European Union. On July 9, 2015 the plenary of the European Parliament voted to accept the Report with several changes. Notably, the Parliament removed … Continue reading

Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament approves copyright reform

The Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament recently approved an amended EU copyright evaluation report (the “Report”) by its member Julia Reda outlining a reform of copyright law in the European Union. The Report aims at evaluating the current legal framework (especially Directive 2001/29/EC, “InfoSoc-Directive”; Directive 2004/48/EC, “Enforcement Directive”; and Directive 2009/24/EC, “Software … Continue reading

The 2039 Rule: UK keeps millions of very old unpublished works under copyright protection for another 24 years

As a result of the transitional provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA), some very old unpublished works benefit from copyright protection until 2039, even though their authors have not lived for hundreds of years. The 2039 rule was enacted because under the previous copyright law – although copyright expired 70-years from … Continue reading

Agence France Presse v. Morel – THIRD UPDATE

We have posted previously on Agence France Presse v. Morel, the initial opinion of which was issued January 2013, as well as several updates in the case since then. The case so far Briefly summarizing the case so far, photographer Daniel Morel posted some photographs on Twitter.  Agence France Presse (“AFP”) copied eight of those … Continue reading

The folly of a press release

On September, 12 2014, the Federal Court of Australia delivered a further decision in a long-running dispute between leading Australian swimwear business Seafolly and swimwear designer, Leah Madden (trading as White Sands Swimwear). Madden had falsely accused Seafolly of copying her designs. However, an unresolved part of that dispute concerned a series of misleading social … Continue reading

Hong Kong Government introduces Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014

After eight years of preparation and rounds of consultation, the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 (2014 Bill) was finally gazetted by the Hong Kong Government for legislative consideration on 13 June 2014. It was introduced for First and Second Readings before the Legislative Council on 18 June 2014. The 2014 Bill aims to enhance copyright protection … Continue reading
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