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Fourth Circuit a “maddening mixture of getting some things right and some things very very wrong”

William Patry, author of a treatise on copyright law, has an interesting post on his copyright law blog about a decision yesterday in the Fourth Circuit. The facts of the case are relatively simple the plaintiff owned a copyright on some architectural plans that the defendant obtained an unauthorized copy of. The defendant used the […]

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Are wedding receptions full of copyright infringers?

Maybe, if you ask Richard Silver. Mr. Silver claims to have invented the dance known as the “Electric Slide” at a disco in 1976. He registered a copyright on his performance of the dance in 2004. While Mr. Silver’s claims may seem dubious (such as, for example, his claims on his website that he also […]

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Audiobooks can be rented without publisher’s consent: first sale exception does not apply

Today the Sixth Circuit considered an issue that has not yet been addressed by any other United States Court of Appeal: whether the record rental exception to copyright law’s first sale doctrine codified in 17 U.S.C. &sect 109(b)(1)(A) applies to all sound recordings or only to recordings of musical works. A divided panel held that […]

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MIT Offers Free Course Materials on United States Copyright Law

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering an introductory course to Copyrights via its OpenCourseWare website. The website describes the course as “an introduction to copyright law and American law in general.” Topics covered include: 1) Structure of federal law 2) Basics of legal research 3) Legal citations 4) How to use LexisNexis? 5) […]

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New Tool for Copyright Owners

The Wall Street Journal has posted an article highlighting a new internet tool that tracks copyrighted works being used on the internet. Privately held Attributor Corp. of Redwood City, California offers a search service that scans billions of pages of the internet looking for infringing uses of copyrighted material. Attributor Corp describes its self as […]

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Prepaid cellular phone seller sues over DMCA exception

TracFone Wireless, the largest seller of prepaid cellular phone service in the United States, has sued the Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights, alleging that one of the DMCA exemptions granted last month is unlawful. Specifically, TracFone is upset about the exemption permitting cellular phone users to "unlock" their phones in order to use […]

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US Copyright office issues new exemptions from DMCA

Every three years, the United States Copyright Office seeks proposals for exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). The DMCA was enacted in 1998. As part of the DMCA, it became unlawful to circumvent access control measures copyright holders used to secure their copyrighted works. For example, it is a violation of the DMCA […]

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