Copyright Infringement before the Copyright Claims Board?

Suppose you have not registered your copyright in a book with the U.S. Copyright Office until someone has infringed your copyright by copying substantial portions of your book. Let’s also suppose you can prove that the alleged infringer has infringed your work and you can prove that the infringement caused you lost sales, lost opportunities to license, or diminution in the value of the copyright in the amount of $20,000. Can you sue the alleged infringer for actual damages for the copyright infringement without going to federal court? The answer to this question is YES!

The U.S. Congress has established the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act) to provide an alternative forum to federal court before the Copyright Office called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) for resolving certain copyright disputes that involve up to $30,000 (called “small claims”). The use of the CCB is voluntary and both parties must agree to participate. The CCB provides advantages over federal court because certain copyright disputes may be resolved before a panel of copyright experts as opposed to a jury or a federal judge. The CCB proceeding is a streamlined proceeding and a less-expensive alternative compared to federal court. Continue Reading

How the New 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract Affects Performers and Advertisers

A new collective bargaining agreement governing the use of SAG-AFTRA (the Union) performers in commercials has been reached between the Union and the Joint Policy Committee (JPC).

The new 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract (the 2022 Contract), which is retroactively effective to April 1, 2022, appears to offer certain benefits to advertiser and agency signatories of the Commercials Contract, particularly JPC authorizers, as well as Union member performers.

The 4.88% increase to use fees is the lowest rate hike in more than a decade. The 2022 Contract’s advertiser-friendly editing rules and its simplified approach to categorizing digital media outlets are clearly meant to alleviate advertiser and agency frustrations and make the contract more functional and user-friendly. Additionally, with new protections for talent in the wake of the #MeToo movement and new requirements designed to improve opportunities for performers of color, the Union achieved notable wins for talent. Continue Reading

High Court of Delhi extends statutory deadline for filing response to FER in European Union’s patent applications

Patents files folder

In the recent case of The European Union vs. Union of India and Ors., W.P.(C)-IPD 5/2022 and W.P.(C)-IPD 6/2022, the Petitioner (European Union) filed two writ petitions against two orders passed by the Controller General of Patents for deemed abandonment of its patent applications.

By way of background, the Petitioner had initially engaged a European law firm (M/s. Freylinge) which in turn engaged one Mr. Guruswamy Nataraj (“first patent agent”) for filing and prosecuting the patent applications (on their behalf). The first patent agent filed Indian Patent Application No. 11123/DELNP/2012 (on December 21, 2012) and Indian Patent Application No. 3466/DELNP/2013 (on April 18, 2013). Continue Reading

Viral Greek Advertisement with LGBTQ+ Representation Ruled Legal by the Advertising Self-Regulation Council

A few months ago, a large shampoo Company advertisement was published in Greek media (both on TV and οn social media), in which members of the Greek LGBTQ+ community starred. Through the campaign, the Company praises diversity and the exceeding of stereotypes and within a few hours, it became a “viral topic of discussion” on social media and news websites, causing a wave of positive as well as negative reactions. In fact, the ad has over 800,000 views on YouTube.

Five queer people (a cis gay man, a cis gay woman, a trans woman, a non-binary person, and a drag queen) are starring in the commercial, sharing their stories and the change in their daily lives when they finally felt free to express themselves as they are – with the help of their hair, too – focusing on the problems, discrimination, and oppression they have faced from their social environment due to their identity. The advertising video closes by referring to a Psychological Support Line for LGBTQ+ people and their families, which is also sponsoring the campaign. It is noteworthy that some of the scenes shown in the commercial are quite rare for Greek TV (such as a kiss between a lesbian couple), which is one of the reasons that the ad gained a lot of attention. In general, LGBTQ+ representation in Greek media and advertisements is not that common. Continue Reading

A PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST AS A YOUNG…CODE(R)?: Why Understanding Artificial Intelligence & Real Creativity Shouldn’t Make The Artist A Dunsel

Art, said Stephen, is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.”

James Joyce, A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, Chapter V

 

[T]he application…identified the author of the Work as the ‘Creativity Machine,’ and noted it was ‘Created autonomously by machine.’

Complaint, paragraph 17 in Thaler v. Perlmutter, Civ. Action No. 22-01564

 

Wesley [on viewscreen]: Our compliments to the M-5 unit, and regards to Captain Dunsel. Wesley out.

McCoy: Dunsel? Who the blazes is Captain Dunsel? …What does it mean, Jim? (Kirk leaves the bridge) Spock? What does it mean?

Spock: “Dunsel,” Doctor, is a term used by midshipmen at Starfleet Academy. It refers to a part which serves no useful purpose”

The Ultimate Computer, STAR TREK, THE ORIGINAL SERIES

In my recent attempt at spring cleaning, I mentioned that “the Copyright Office’s ‘refusal to register a two-dimensional artwork claim in the work titled ‘A Recent Entrance to Paradise’ (‘Work’).” I also observed that “[e]ven with Roombas and Creativity Machines doing their jobs well, these issues remain a little messy and will need to be considered further.” I just thought I would have a little longer respite. Continue Reading

Why Creators Need to Pay Close Attention to the SCOTUS Andy Warhol Infringement Case

The US Supreme Court in March decided it will revisit a dispute over pop artist Andy Warhol’s images of Prince. In taking up the case, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, the Court aims to more clearly define the scope of what’s known as “fair use” in US copyright law.

The suit was originally levied by photographer Lynn Goldsmith after a 2016 Vanity Fair issue brought to light a series of images that Warhol produced of Prince based on a photograph taken by Goldsmith. The photographer, who had only been aware of one of the 16 images in the series, argued that Warhol had committed copyright infringement. In 2019, a judge ruled in favor of Warhol; however, New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2020 reversed the decision, ruling that Andy Warhol’s licensing company did not engage in fair use when it used Goldsmith’s photograph as the basis for the series. Continue Reading

Can a Copyright Registration be Invalidated based on Mistakes in the Copyright Application?

Suppose that you want to register your copyright by preparing and filing a copyright application with the U.S. Copyright Office. What if you were unaware that you made some mistakes in the copyright application and the copyright application issued into a copyright registration? You subsequently find that someone is infringing your copyright registration and you file a lawsuit against them for copyright infringement. During the lawsuit, the accused infringer finds the mistakes in the copyright application and argues that the copyright registration is invalid. Is your copyright registration invalid? The answer is NO if the mistakes were made without knowledge! Continue Reading

Don’t Be Bamboozled by Environmental Benefit Claims

$5.5 Million FTC Settlements for Bamboo Textile and Environmental Benefit Claims Under Penalty Offense Authority

The FTC recently announced that it has reached a $2.5 million settlement with Kohl’s and a $3 million settlement with Walmart for allegedly making misleading representations that textile products were made of bamboo fabric and provided environmental benefits because those products were derived from bamboo. The FTC asserted that the products were, in fact, made of rayon (derived from bamboo), using a chemical process that is harmful to the environment. Continue Reading

Greek collecting societies are not entitled to collect equitable remuneration for artists and producers not represented by them by contract or mandate

Introduction

GEA is the Common Collecting Society of GRAMMO (Collecting Society of Music Producers), ERATO (collecting Society of Performers), and APOLLON (Collecting Society of Musicians). It was formed following a state license, in order to collect, among other things, the equitable remuneration provided by article 49 of Law 2121/93 in favour of producers, performers, and musicians for the public performance of legitimately released sound carriers.

Since its establishment, GEA has claimed to be entitled to collect the above equitable remuneration not only for its members (ie, rights holders represented by it) but also on behalf of producers, performers, and musicians who are not represented by it on the basis of a contract or relevant mandate. Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning: Decluttering From Recent Intellectual Property Detritus & Dusting Off Old Posts

Our favorite thing about spring [is] spring cleaning. It’s a way to say, “I’m dusting off the winter blues and coming out of hibernation.”… At the office, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning. It is a chance to reorganize and refresh your workspace and your workflow. Plus, organizing will actually improve your overall focus and work performance. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn why.

Career Group Companies

Many cultures have the tradition of spring cleaning.  These range from those in Iran observing the Persian New Year festival of Nowruz (and the practice of “khooneh tekouni,” or “shaking the house” to prepare for Nowruz), to the Jewish traditional pre-Passover cleaning (and the ritual bedikat chametz), to the Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera) traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church to the Asian celebrations of Ninyabaat, Songkran, and Xiao Nian. In more Northern countries and frontier cultures, spring cleaning presented the opportunity to wipe away soot and grime of winters indoors in shelters lit and heated by oil-burning lamps or wood-burning fires.   In the last decade, the United Kingdom has taken the tradition outdoors, with The Great British Spring Clean, which is a national campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy. As one participant noted, “It is the UK’s single biggest environmental mass participation event and sees volunteers from across the country make more than one million miles of British outdoor spaces cleaner and greener.” Continue Reading

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