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Ninth Circuit: Termination of rights allows Lassie to come home to author’s heir

In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's denial of summary judgment in a copyright case. The district court held the heir of an author had, by agreement, "given away" the termination right granted by 17 U.S.C. § 304(c).The Ninth Circuit reversed, stating that the district court had gone against the […]

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Eleventh Circuit: Laches presumed not to apply in copyright case filed during limitations period

In a decision last week, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part a district court decision granting summary judgment in a copyright infringement action. The central disagreement between the parties was over the scope of copyright protection in a book about sales techniques. The district court granted the defendant's motion for summary […]

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Seventh Circuit: Prevailing defendants should have greater presumption of fees in copyright cases

In a decision Wednesday, the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court's denial of attorney fees to a prevailing defendant in a copyright case. The district court found that, as a matter of law, no copyright infringement occurred, but declined to award attorney's fees.The Seventh Circuit reversed. The court held the suit was frivolous, and brought […]

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En banc Eleventh Circuit reaffirms digital compilation of magazine archives a privileged revision

In a decision last week, the Eleventh Circuit en banc addressed the application of New York Times v. Tasini in the context of a comprehensive CD archive encompassing all National Geographic magazines from 1888 to 1996, called the Complete National Geographic. In a previous decision, a panel of the Eleventh Circuit held the CNG was […]

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First Circuit: Discovery rule not triggered in copyright case by parties’ acrimonious split

In a recent decision, the First Circuit reversed a district court's decision dismissing a copyright infringement claim on statute of limitation grounds. The main issue was whether the statute of limitations for copyright infringement claims barred an architectural firm's action against a former client. The court determined that no triggering event had occurred which would […]

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U.S. Copyright Office begins online registration system today

Today the U.S. Copyright Office will officially begin accepting registrations for some works online. The works that may be registered online are "basic claims" for literary, visual arts, and performing arts works (including motion pictures, sound recordings and single serials). A "basic claim," which is eligible for online registration must be one of: a single […]

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Ninth Circuit: Heirs of “Pink Panther” coauthor do not retain interest in copyright in the films

In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in a copyright case, holding that a coauthor of a story treatment is not necessarily a coauthor of a motion picture produced based on that treatment, and the factors applied to determine coauthorship led to the conclusion that the […]

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Tenth Circuit: Digital model of car not separately copyrightable because no originality

In a decision this week, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a copyright case, finding a digital work lacking sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection. The works at issue were three-dimensional computer models of cars for use in advertisements. The court agreed that the […]

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Ninth Circuit: No statutory damages for continuing infringement that began before registration

In a decision last week, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's award of statutory damages for copyright infringement and affirmed the district court's default judgment award of attorney's fees for trademark infringement. The plaintiff's copyright registration had an effective date of approximately one month after the first act of infringement, and nearly two years […]

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Eleventh Circuit combs over copyright law, idea-expression dichotomy in affirming noninfringement

In a decision this week, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court's decision granting summary judgment of no copyright infringement to individuals and entities associated with two Trump buildings and denying the plaintiff leave to file a third amended complaint. In this regard, the court affirmed a finding that no reasonable, properly instructed jury could […]

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