Currently viewing the tag: "Copyright Act"

Taking Back Song Copyrights

On August 18, 2011 By

Starting a process that might completely shake-up copyright law in the next few years, Mr. Victor Willis, the former lead singer of the Village People, is filing to regain control and ownership of several of the group’s earliest songs, including the renowned song ‘Y.M.C.A.’

Thirty-five years ago, when Congress re-wrote the copyright […]

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The Copyright Office Tunes In

On November 4, 2010 By

Upon Congress’s prompting, the U.S. Copyright Office has begun a study on the desirability of bringing sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, under federal jurisdiction. In a notice of inquiry, the Copyright Office has requested written comments from all interested parties.

Sound recordings were protected solely under state law […]

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Harry Potter vs. Willy the Wizard: U.S. Edition

On July 16, 2010 By

Forget Voldemort — Harry Potter has a new nemesis to contend with. Unfortunately for Harry, neither magic nor help from Hermione Granger will help him win this legal fight. As a sequel to the pending suits against the British publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the Estate of Adrian Jacobs […]

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The works of most every major recording artist are now legally available for download. That is, however, except for those of The Beatles. Thus, it came as quite a surprise when, on October 30, the music sharing website began offering 25-cent downloads of Beatles music.

The record label EMI, which owns the rights to […]

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Sesame Street Song as Torture

On November 5, 2009 By

For many people, the Sesame Street theme song evokes images of a diverse group of joyous children playing with Big Bird and the other muppets. But for some Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan detainees, the song might be a reminder of long nights interrupted by screaming kids looking for the location of Sesame […]

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Treading the Line: Fair & Derivative Uses

On October 30, 2009 By

On Friday, October 23, the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law held its annual symposium. This year’s symposium was entitled Drawing Lines in the Digital Age: Copyright, Fair Use, and Derivative Works. The symposium covered a variety of topics related to digital copyright, but the focus was on exploring the intersection of […]

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ASCAP Argues Ringtones are Public Concerts, and Loses

On October 28, 2009 By

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers recently sued Verizon Wireless, alleging that Verizon was both “engag[ing] in public performances of musical works when it downloads ringtones to customers” and “secondarily liable for public performances of musical works when customers play ringtones on their telephones.” Opinion, p. 7. ASCAP […]

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Fans of The Ellen DeGeneres Show know that Ellen is famous for dancing through the audience to everything from recent Rihanna hits to classics by The Beach Boys. She might have to rethink her song choices after major recording companies sued the show in U.S. District Court for the Middle District […]

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A federal court held last week that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a Minnesota single mother of four, must pay $1.92 million in damages to record companies for illegally downloading 24 songs from online file-sharing services.

The verdict actually marks the end of Thomas-Rasset’s second trial. The first had ended in a much smaller judgment of […]

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Fairey Case to be Instructive on Fair Use

On March 26, 2009 By

It is well known by now that Shepard Fairey, creator of the ubiquitous “Hope” poster of then-candidate Barack Obama, is locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the Associated Press (AP) over the poster. In an interesting series of events, Fairey and his counsel at the Stanford Fair Use Project sued the AP first. After […]

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