Photo of Susan Ross (US)

On February 14, 2022, the Review Board of the United States Copyright Office (the “Board”) refused copyright registration (for the second time) of a two-dimensional artwork entitled “A Recent Entrance to Paradise.” Although the work was an original work fixed in a tangible medium of expression, the Board found that it could not be registered due to a lack of human authorship.

On June 17, 2020, the Southern District of New York issued an opinion and order in a complex matter between a social media gaming celebrity and a contract he signed with an esports and entertainment company. (Faze Clan, Inc., v. Tenney, 19-cv-7200 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y. July 17, 2020) (2020 WL 3318209).)

If your business discovered that its revenue covered only 70% of its costs, it would be time for a re-examination of operations, both in terms of revenues and costs. The Copyright Office has issued some rule changes affecting both.

New Fees

According to the U.S. Copyright Office’s notice in the February 19, 2020 Federal Register (85 Fed. Reg. 9374, 9375), historically, the fees collected by the Copyright Office covered only 60% of its costs, and, more recently, only 70% of its costs. It has announced a new fee schedule, which includes many higher fees, some lower or unchanged fees, and some new fees. The new fee schedule goes into effect on Friday, March 20, 2020.

On May 23, 2019, a federal jury unanimously found that the Houston Independent School District willfully infringed 36 of DynaStudy’s copyrighted study guides, and awarded $9.2 million dollars. (DynaStudy, Inc. v. Houston Independent School District, Case No. 4:16-cv-01442 (S.D. Tex. May 23, 2019) (verdict, document #316). As this case illustrates, “educational” use is a very narrow exception to the copyright laws. New technologies make copying easier than ever, but the jury verdict demonstrates the damages can be unlimited.

US owners of patents and trademarks who have registered them in Venezuela find themselves in the unusual position of being prohibited by the US government from paying Venezuela any required fees in the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, the Petro.  For more information,