Tag Archives: copyright

New Legal Battle for Google in Germany

20 Apr

Credit: Google, Inc.

Google just can’t seem to catch a break these days.  A court in Hamburg, Germany ordered Google to install filters on the YouTube service in Germany to prevent copyright infringement of the rights of musicians, filmmakers, and others in the entertainment industry.  While Google was not direclty responsible for uploading infringing material, the judge in Hamburg found the company should have done more to stop the violations.

In a statement by the company, it said:  “Today’s ruling confirms that YouTube is a hosting platform and cannot be obliged to control all videos uploaded to the site.  The ruling is a partial success for the music industry in general, for our users as well as artists, composers, YouTube and other Web platforms in Germany.”

An appeal is expected by Google.

To view the full article from The New York Times, follow this link.

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Louis Vuitton Clashes Over “Hangover 2”

10 Apr

In 2011, Louis Vuitton successfully brought suit against Hyundai claiming that a one second glimpse of a basketball which closely resembled the well known trademark.  Recently, the French designer brought suit against Warner Brothers regarding “The Hangover II”.  It is alleged in that Warner Brothers infringed and diluted the mark “by showing, for one brief moment in the movie, Zach Galifianakis telling someone who pushes his bag, ‘Be careful, that is … that is a Lewis Vuitton.'”

The full article may be found at this link.

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Viacom Battle with YouTube Continues

6 Apr

Credit: Viacom/YouTube

In 2007, Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion alleging the site allowed users to post copyrighted Viacom content without permission between 2005 and 2008, including content from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”  In 2010 a District Court judge granted summary judgment to YouTube and ruled YouTube was protected from the infringement claims under a “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The District Court judge ruled YouTube was protected under the safe harbors of the DMCA because there was not enough notice of the individual infringements.  Recently the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to the district court.  The courts opinion stated:

“We conclude that the District Court correctly held that the 512(c) safe harbor requires knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity, but we vacate the order granting summary judgment because a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website.”

This remand gives Viacom a second chance to prove the copyright infringement claims against YouTube.  It continues the ongoing battle between entertainment companies and Web entrepreneurs over ‘user-generated content’ sites.

The full article from the Los Angeles Times can be found at this link.  An additional article from Fox News can be found at this link.

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50 Cent Victory Over Copyright Lawsuit

28 Mar

50 Cent found himself in hot water after Tyronne Simmons filed a lawsuit in 2010 over the 2007 hit, “I Get Money”.  Unfortunately, Simmons’ copyright claim was time barred as the three year statute of limitations expired.  “The lawsuit has been thrown out of court for some of the parties involved. 50 Cent and other plaintiffs named – including UMG Recordings, Interscope Records, Aftermath Records, Shady Records and G-Unit Records – will not face the wrath of the law as the suit exceeded the three-year statute of limitations for copyright suits.”

The full article from the can be found at this link.
The music video can be found at this link, courtesy of YouTube
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Copyright Lawsuit Over “Valley of the Dolls”

16 Mar

Fox is now under attack for a new TV series based on the 1966 classic, “Valley of the Dolls.”  Tiger LLC has brought, among other complaints, a copyright suit.  Tiger alleges that because Fox waived it right to first and last refusal, Fox would no longer have any rights:

“Fox acquired a limited right of first and last refusal for a TV series in 1965, but expressly waived that right in 1994. The complaint quotes Fox confirming that year that ‘it shall have no further rights in or to any Owner’s Sequel or and Television Series Rights, all of which may be freely exploited by [Tiger].'”

Read the full article here.

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Kanye West and Jay-Z Settle in Sampling Lawsuit

12 Mar

Last October, Syl Johnson brought suit against the rappers claiming that their sampling of “Different Strokes” was without permission.  Johnson claimed that he received no remuneration from the use.  The main point of contention for Jay-Z and West was whether or not the song was actually protected since it was recorded before 1972 where song recordings were not yet included under the copyright protection.  The case has since been dismissed due to a settlement reached by the parties.

Read the full article here.

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Don’t Go Against The Godfather

22 Feb

Paramount Pictures has filed a complaint in federal court in Manhattan against, Anthony Puzo, son of author Mario Puzo and executor of his estate, alleging publication of a new sequel to “The Godfather” novel is not authorized.  The film company bought the copyright in The Godfather in 1969, produced trilogy of The Godfather films, and authorized one sequel novel, “The Godfather’s Return”, in 2004.

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A Little Inspiration Goes a Long Way

17 Feb

Now that fashion week has officially ended, it leaves some in the industry asking the age old question – how long before we see the runway looks popping up local stores across America? Using high fashion runway looks as “inspiration” for producing similar mass market items is a practice that fashion has long become accustomed to. Recently, within hours walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes, Faviana had already brazenly “knocked off” a significant number of the gowns worn – practically stitch for stitch – and offered them for sale in the “Dress Like a Star” section of their store.

Under current copyright law, fashion designs are not protectable, so Faviana’s actions are perfectly legal. But how far is too far? What do you think?

“Linsanity” Trademark ?

16 Feb

Yenchin Chang and Andrew W. Slayton are two individuals that have sought to Trademark New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.  While Yenchin Chang is not associated with Jeremy Lin, Andrew Slayton was a former high school coach of Lin’s and has even registered several domain names where items related to the point guard are being sold.

“In the latest attempt to game the U.S. trademark system, Jeremy Lin followers are making their own play to profit on the Knicks’ sensation.  Earning the rights to the term most associated with Lin’s instant celebrity could mean big bucks in royalties for its usage on merchandise like T-shirts and hats.  One trademark attorney in the story doubted either would win, calling the moves a “bad-faith” attempt to make money off of Lin’s emergence.”

The full story from The Huffington Post can be found at this link.

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