Category: Copyright

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Can a 3-D Work of Artistic Craftsmanship be Protected by a Copyright?

Suppose that you create a unique three-dimensional display. You find out that your competitor has copied your three-dimensional display. Can you claim that the design of the display is a three-dimensional work of artistic craftsmanship to apply for a copyright registration to enforce against your competitor? The answer may be YES! Under 17 U.S.C. § … Continue Reading

Can the First Amendment Trump the Right of Publicity?

Many states recognize a “right of publicity,” which prohibits the commercial use of an individual’s name, likeness, or identity without consent. When aspects of a well-known person’s identity are incorporated into an expressive work, however, what emerges is a tension between the individual’s right of publicity and the artist’s freedom of expression as protected by … Continue Reading

Expanding Reach of the Copyright Fair Use Defense

Fair use allows for the unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work in limited circumstances. Historically, examples of fair use have included copying for the purposes of criticism, comment, parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Now the application of the fair use defense applies far beyond this. Two court decisions in 2015 illustrate the expanding … Continue Reading

Publicity Exactly What Was Missing From Monkey Selfie Case

According to the “infinite monkey theorem,” a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare or at least a comprehensible original work.   But, according to a United States federal district court judge, that … Continue Reading

“Selfie” Copyright Does Not Belong To Monkey Who Took It

When is a photographer not the “author” of a photograph for copyright purposes?  According to a federal judge in San Francisco, when the photographer is a monkey! Sometime in 2011, a crested macaque monkey living on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, used the camera of nature photographer David Slater to take a number of self-portraits, … Continue Reading

IP HOUSEKEEPING – A CANTER THROUGH EU REFORMS COMING YOUR WAY DURING 2016

Here’s a quick “heads up” of what I see as the key reforms of IP laws in the pipeline at the European Union (EU) level that are likely to affect EU regional registrations of IP, as well as the national laws of each and every EU Member State.  You will no doubt be reading more … Continue Reading

Be Careful How You Get Over the Paywall: Recent Canadian Decision Holds That Non-Subscribing Reader of Paywall Article Infringed Copyright

A recent decision from the lowest court of the Province of Ontario has raised questions over how recent amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act regarding “technological protection measures” (“TPMs”), such as subscription “paywalls”, will be interpreted and balanced with traditional copyright analysis. In 1395804 Ontario Limited (Blacklock’s Reporter) v. Canadian Vinters Association, the central question considered … Continue Reading

Can 3-D Scanning and Printing be a Copyright Infringement?

Suppose that you have a unique configuration for your physical object. You find out that your competitor has scanned the configuration of your object and is printing the object with a three-dimensional (3-D) printer. Is there anything you can do?  The answer is YES! Let’s suppose you have created a physical object such as a … Continue Reading

ISP Obligations and Copyright Reform – Injunctions under 115A Copyright Act 1968

Of the many hurdles in enforcing copyright online, one of the preliminary issues (and often one of the most complicated) is the problem of jurisdiction. With infringements potentially taking place all over the world, a rights holder may be faced with the dilemma of working out where infringements are occurring, and figuring out how to … Continue Reading

How TPA May Fast Track TPP Impact On IP

Late June 2015 saw much of Washington DC focused on whether Congress would give President Obama “TPA,” the so-called fast track trade promotion authority, that would allow concluding negotiations on the “TPP,” the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that could have widespread international implications for IP, or intellectual property.  The measure passed, ultimately, by one … Continue Reading

LIVE VIDEO-STREAMING APPS POSE CHALLENGES FOR SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

The transmission of live events through video-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat is raising concerns among rights holders. Advances in both legal and technological tools will be needed to effectively combat unauthorized transmissions. Challenge Although people have been using smartphones to shoot videos they share on social media platforms for some time, live video-streaming apps such … Continue Reading

Management of IP in Commercial Contracts in Australia

All businesses have valuable intellectual property, not just “tech” focused businesses such as software developers or pharmaceutical companies.  However advisers may need to translate for their clients what they mean in practical terms when they use the words “intellectual property”, in order for clients to appreciate its value and take steps to protect it.  For … Continue Reading

Canada: All the News – A Canadian IP Perspective

The Federal Court of Canada recently had occasion to consider a case involving both copyright and trademark issues with a distinctly international flavour. At issue was a Punjabi-language subscription daily newspaper called AJIT DAILY, published in India, and a free weekly newspaper published in Canada called AJIT WEEKLY. The Plaintiff’s AJIT newspaper started publication in … Continue Reading
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