Supreme Court to Clarify Copyright Act Knowledge and Publication Standards: Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, LP

Carolyn Wimbly Martin and Margaret Horstman

On November 8, 2021, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case to determine the scope of 17 U.S.C. §411, which prevents the filing of a lawsuit for copyright infringement without a valid copyright. The Court will also consider the meaning of the Copyright Act’s publication standard, deciding whether separate sales constitute separate publications. […]

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New Proposed Rule for CASE Act

This post is an update. Read the original post here. In August we wrote about the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE Act”) and the initial steps taken by the Copyright Office to develop procedures for the new Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”), as well as open questions surrounding its constitutionality and feasibility. The Copyright […]

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Marvel Lawsuits: Is It Time for a Review of Copyright Termination Rights and the Work for Hire Test?

On Friday, September 24, 2021, the comic book publisher Marvel initiated five lawsuits in federal courts, attempting to invalidate copyright termination notices sent by a former writer and the estates of several former artists. The copyrights in question included some of the most recognizable Marvel characters from the “Avengers” series, such as Iron Man, Black […]

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DMCA Takedown Notices: A Valuable Tool for Copyright Holders, Yet Subject to Abuse

Carolyn Wimbly Martin and Margaret Horstman

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), internet service providers (ISPs) are protected from liability for the copyright infringements of their users if they adopt certain measures to identify and protect copyrighted works and implement a policy for handling infringers. ISPs cannot have knowledge of specific and identifiable instances of infringement, nor can they be […]

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Preserving Cultural Heritage: Some Bright Spots Amidst the Losses

Our prior insights about cultural heritage have dealt with irreparable losses and the limitations of using traditional intellectual property law to preserve intangible cultural assets. We have also focused on the controversies that arise when IP law and traditional values collide. For example, the 50th anniversary in July 2021 of the creation of the Australian […]

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Big Business is Watching: Employee Tracking in the Workplace

Carolyn Wimbly Martin and Robert Piper

Rapid advances in technology have enabled employers to track employees with greater granularity and detail than ever before. At Amazon, roughly one in ten firings is due to a “low productivity score” as determined by a computer program. This algorithm tracks an employee’s “time off task,” or the amount of time a worker spends away […]

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Andy Warhol Decision Spells Stronger Rights for Photographers Fighting Infringers: Addendum

This post is an update. Read the original post here.  In April we wrote about the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, 992 F.3d 99 (2d Cir. 2021). That decision concerned a series of silkscreen prints and pencil illustrations of singer […]

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The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act)

As we reported earlier, as part of the coronavirus relief and government spending bill passed by Congress in the final days of 2020, a quasi-judicial small claims court was established within the Copyright Office to hear disputes over infringement cases valued up to $30,000. Although the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE […]

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USPTO Files for Trademark Protection of Its Own Name

To combat misleading solicitations and trademark filing scams, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently applied for federal registration of the USPTO trademark and logo design. Third party scams have become a growing problem over the years for the USPTO, as well as for our clients and consumers. It not uncommon for trademark […]

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Artists Use Their Media to Voice Concerns About Privacy Intrusions

Artists are joining the conversation about privacy intrusions from drones and other surveillance mechanisms. A fiberglass sculpture of a U.S. military drone is now hovering 25 feet above New York’s iconic High Line. The sculpture is a commissioned work for the High Line Plinth. Modeled after London’s Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth, the project is intended to […]

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