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Second Circuit: retroactive assignment cannot cure past infringement claim by co-author

The Second Circuit yesterday issued a decision regarding whether an action for infringement brought by one co-author of a song can be defeated by the grant of a "retroactive" transfer of ownership to the infringer from a co-author who is not party to the infringement action. The case involved licensing and litigation regarding authorship of […]

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First Circuit: Reconstruction of work does not meet deposit requirement for copyright registration

Tuesday, the First Circuit issued a decision regarding the Copyright Act's requirement of submission of a "copy" of an original work along with the registration of the work in order for a plaintiff to bring suit in federal court. The court held, as an issue of first impression in the circuit, that the copy submitted […]

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Is fair use more valuable to the economy than copyright?

A study released this week by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) attempts to quantify the value that fair use, the restriction on a copyright holder's ability to assert infringement claims, has to the U.S. economy. The study attempted to ascertain the economic output of "fair use industries," that is, either "industries that produce […]

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Tenth Circuit: First Amendment analysis required when public domain works “restored” to copyright

In an important copyright decision posted today (but apparently filed yesterday), the Tenth Circuit addressed the First Amendment implications of the "restoration" of public domain works to copyright protection as a result of the Uruguay Round Agreement Act (URAA). The URAA implemented Article 18 of the Berne Convention, which brought works back under copyright that […]

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Ninth Circuit: Reversible error to only consider one of the likelihood of confusion factors

In a trademark case yesterday, the Ninth Circuit held that the similarity-of-the-marks factor could not be considered exclusive of the other likelihood of confusion factors in determining trademark infringement. In doing so, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment against the defendant's counterclaims of trademark infringement, as well as the defendant's counterclaims for copyright […]

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Second Circuit: Merger doctrine bars copyright in commodities settlement prices

The Second Circuit issued a decision yesterday applying the merger doctrine of copyright to settlement prices on a mercantile exchange. The court affirmed summary judgment holding that the settlement prices were not copyrightable, because the expression of the prices (a single number) merged with the idea that was expressed (the fair market value for each […]

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Sixth Circuit: Proper copyright infringement test applied, finding of no infringement affirmed

In a decision Friday, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of no copyright infringement, holding that the lower court had applied the proper legal standard. Specifically, while the district court characterized the test for substantial similarity in a different manner, the application of the test was proper insofar as the court removed from […]

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UK rejects proposal for 20 year copyright extension for sound recordings

Yesterday the UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport issued a report rejecting a suggestion to push for an extension of copyright term in the EU for sound recordings of 20 additional years, from 50 to 70 years. Citing the Gowers Review of the UK's intellectual property framework, the report notes: [The Gowers Review] concluded […]

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Federal Circuit affirms findings of patent and copyright noninfringement

In a recent decision the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement on one count of patent infringement and two counts of copyright infringement. The Federal Circuit also upheld the district court's denial of the plaintiff's Rule 60(b) motion seeking vacatur of the summary judgments. More details of Hutchins v. […]

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Sixth Circuit affirms copyright infringement award against karaoke disc maker

In a decision today, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an award of $806,000 in statutory damages plus attorney fees in a copyright case. The case was brought by a copyright holder against a manufacturer of karaoke discs incorporating the compositions to which the plaintiffs held the copyright. The court upheld the award and finding of willful […]

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