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.
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.
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.
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.
Think about how many times music is played in a restaurant, independently owned coffee shop, local clothing store or other small business. Chances are that it is personally purchased by an employee or streamed from an internet source like Spotify or Apple Music, which likely means that there is no commercial license for playing the music in public.
In a fascinating narrative, a federal judge in New York has found that the successors-in-interest of deceased photographer Bert Stern own the copyright to 2,751 iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe taken in a series of three sessions at the Los Angeles Bel-Air Hotel in 1962, shortly before her untimely death.
On the U.S. Supreme Court’s current docket is a major copyright case called Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, which will decide at what point in the federal copyright registration process the copyright owner can file a lawsuit in federal court for infringement of the copyright.
At our law firm, we help people protect intellectual property rights in their creative works using copyright law. Commonly copyright-protected types of works include music, art, software and books and others. A developing area of copyright law is the extent to which graffiti — now dubbed aerosol art, according to The New York Times — can obtain copyright protection.
On March 21, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld significant parts of a trial court opinion that awarded $5.3 million to Marvin Gaye's children. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found to have infringed on Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up" in their 2013 song "Blurred Lines."