The law of copyright is relevant to anyone who is a creator or user of creative works. Traditional copyright rules have been challenged by the evolution of digital media and the Internet, which render simple and universal the copying, dissemination and alteration of creative works. Interpreting these rules in today’s digital environment – and in appropriate cases bringing creative legal challenges to them – is at the heart of the firm’s practice.
- Lutzker & Lutzker represented a software company in its fight to establish that consumers may decrypt scrambled content on a lawfully acquired DVD in order to repair or make a personal backup copy of the DVD and that the company may lawfully distribute software designed to enable that activity. The firm defended the company in federal court against claims brought by two major motion picture studios under the “anti-trafficking” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The firm also submitted public comments and prepared the founder of the company to testify in the Copyright Office’s second triennial “Section 1201” rulemaking proceeding for the consideration of exemptions to the DMCA’s prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.
- Supervising litigation in Italy on behalf of legendary filmmaker Fred Zinnemann (High Noon, From Here to Eternity) over the wrongful colorization of The Seventh Cross. The litigation has resulted in an injunction and an award of 100,000 euros in favor of the director’s heir.
- Working with the heirs of legendary filmmaker John Huston (The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen) on moral rights issues in France.
- Assisting the late film director Sydney Pollack’s claim against alteration of Three Days of the Condor in Denmark.
- Supporting director Phillip Noyce in arbitration over claim of extensive cutting of his film Thunderheart.
- Representing numerous individual authors in negotiating and enforcing publishing agreements and in challenging infringements of their works.
- Resolving complex multiparty copyright ownership issues and drafting creative licensing agreements for a video photographer.
- Obtaining a settlement for a client whose copyrighted poster was used on the set of a top-rated TV series without its permission.
- Producing an in-depth analysis of problems and proposed solutions in making works created by or with funding from the Federal Government – particularly informational works in the fields of medicine and science – available on an open access basis to researchers and the public at large.
- Providing opinions on the “fair use” of works by musicians, filmmakers and educators.
- Representing Bob Riha, Jr., a USA Today freelance photographer in copyright infringement claims.
- Successfully appealing a refusal by the United States Copyright Office to register copyright in the encrypted code within the legendary sculpture Kryptos, created by artist Jim Sanborn and displayed at CIA headquarters in Virginia.
- Representing a consortium of video distributors in resolving a dispute with Nassau BOCES over the use and control of proprietary DVDs by the New York State Union Catalog system.
- Developing and presenting a distance learning course for University of Maryland University College on online service provider liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
- Producing a 10-part video series for educators.
- Representing sculptor Kay Worden, noted for her life-size sculptures, in a dispute with a telephone company which used an unauthorized image of her famous Wave sculpture on the cover of a telephone book. Lutzker & Lutzker also instituted and settled on Ms. Worden’s behalf a lawsuit against an art and antiques distributor selling knock-off sculptures from a Southeast Asian foundry.