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copyright law Archives

The ins and outs of songwriter credits

The concept of songwriting has evolved. From communal folk songs that evolved over millennia in the public domain to the sampling of other artists’ recordings, ownership has gone from irrelevant to essential revenue streams for the songwriter or the company that owns the song. It also gets more complicated if ownership percentages are determined when there was more than one songwriter.

Allegation of infringement pattern defeats motion to dismiss

On January 4, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California refused to dismiss claims of copyright infringement because he found that the plaintiff photographer had sufficiently alleged a pattern of copyright infringement. The opinion illustrates the kinds of allegations of copyright infringement a court will credit with enough weight to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

Bloggers fight to protect their digital content

It is common for content generators and social media influencers of various digital platforms to monetize their brands by driving their followers to third-party links or retail sites. These content generators are then paid for that traffic and the sales the traffic brings. So it makes sense that fashion blogger Nitra Mann started a class action suit against celebrity news site PopSugar. In a suit filed in June 2018, Mann claimed that PopSugar stole thousands of Instagram images from various content generators and then reposted them with PopSugar’s own third-party links.

Artist pounces on 'Black Panther' music video

Lina Iris Viktor is a British-Liberian visual artist based in Manhattan who creates stunning pictures in a unique style using gilded imagery with African themes. In February, Viktor sued Kendrick Lamar, Universal Music Group, SZA and other defendants for copyright infringement, alleging that they copied patterns and style from her artwork in a 19-second portion of the music video for the song "All the Stars" from the movie soundtrack of "Black Panther." 

Five attorneys selected to the 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists

The law firm of Hovey Williams LLP is proud to once again have attorneys selected to the 2018 Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. No more than five percent of the attorneys in the state are chosen by the Super Lawyers research team to receive this honor, while no more than 2.5 percent of the attorneys in the state are designated as Rising Stars based on 12 different criteria.

Court dismisses photo copyright case: Lessons for photographers

We recently talked in this space about a case in which the court found that a photograph copied onto a website was not only substantially similar to the copyrighted original, as required for copyright infringement, but it was identical, an exact digital copy. Today we share further observations from a new federal copyright case involving photographs out of California. 

Court observations about copyright infringement in photography

At our law firm, we represent professional photographers in the protection of intellectual property rights in their creative works. Our advocacy includes asserting copyright protections when others infringe on copyrighted photos such as by reproducing them without permission. This work is more important than ever given the ease of digitally reproducing an image online. 

“Stairway to Heaven” back in court

Led Zeppelin famously made rock music that was heavier, louder and more lucrative. The band did this while pillaging Norse mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien (among others) for its lyrics. Musically, it borrowed from a long line of musicians that included folk songwriters, fellow rock bands well as first generation bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. To be fair, band sometimes did cite a source for a songwriting credit.

Dating apps quarreling over the swipe

There is no love lost between the companies who created the dating apps Tinder and Bumble. The first and larger of the two, Tinder and its parent company Match have tried to buy Bumble twice and have been rebuffed. Bumble, for its part, was started by an early Tinder employee who dated a founder and CEO, but left after accusing him of sexual harassment in the workplace. The case was subsequently settled out of court.


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