Avoiding Copyright Infringement When Using Photographs

Avoiding Copyright Infringement When Using Photographs

Copyright protects original works of authorship, including artistic works, such as photographs. According to the Section 106 of the Copyright Act, only the copyright owner has the exclusive rights to reproduce the copyrighted photographs and display them publicly, with this right created as soon as the photographer clicks the shutter on camera. However, there is a delicate balance between the…

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New YouTube Fair Use Policy A Step In The Right Direction

New YouTube Fair Use Policy a Step in the Right Direction

Google has made an important step towards protecting the fair use copyright rights of YouTube video posters. Google — the owner of YouTube — recently (November 2015) declared that it will keep videos active on YouTube if it deems them to represent clear fair use, even if those videos had been subject to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices.…

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The Importance Of Trademark Searching

The Importance of Trademark Searching

Why Should We Do a Trademark Search? A trademark is generally a word, phrase symbol, or design, or a combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. A company’s success in establishing a recognized trademark depends on its reputation for quality products or services. Trademarks usually can be…

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Might Donald The “Champion” Be Trumped Under IP Law?

Might Donald the “Champion” be Trumped Under IP Law?

It was the first night of the Republican National Convention and music played throughout the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The song was “We Are the Champions” by Queen, and it was playing in the background as the then-presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, emerged from a blinding white light onto the main stage. One can easily imagine The Donald demanding…

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Plagiarism Is Not Funny At All

Plagiarism Is Not Funny at All

Recently, Conan O’ Brien had an on-air conversation with a famous Chinese show host, Da Peng, after the latter’s online show was found to have totally ripped off the Conan show’s opening animation. O’Brien made a side-by-side comparison on his show demonstrating how Da Peng’s program “uses” his opening. He emphasized: “We are not making this up, this is absolutely…

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Lawn And Disorder: Neighbors Held Captive By Art

Lawn and Disorder: Neighbors Held Captive by Art

The late Elie Weisel, who dedicated himself to perpetuating the memory of Holocaust victims, once wrote: “For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living.” For the residents of one St. Louis suburb, forgetting is impossible, thanks to their neighbor, Lewis Greenberg, an eccentric septuagenarian and…

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Fan Fiction: The New Frontier

Fan Fiction: The New Frontier

Fan Fiction: the creation of new works based on previously published works to which the secondary creator has no rights. Often a continuation of the original plot line, explorations of what the original might have looked like if elements within it were changed, or the placement of characters or concepts from the original work into new settings with new plot…

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“Trumping” DMCA Takedown Demands

“Trumping” DMCA Takedown Demands

Ever posted your original works of art to your social media page? If so—Did your art depict a famous individual in a controversial way, and is someone else now claiming that you used his/her original art to create your art? If you answered yes to all three questions, or are just absolutely intrigued as to where this is going, then…

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First-Sale Doctrine Applies To Textbooks, Wherever Made

First-Sale Doctrine Applies to Textbooks, Wherever Made

Does the Copyright Act allow consumers to benefit from purchasing copyrighted works that are acquired abroad by third parties at a lower price and are then resold in the United States?  I am an LLM student from China, and when I firstly bought textbooks in the United States, I was shocked by the high price. I complained to my friend,…

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Guerilla Art Never Left And It Never Will

Guerilla Art Never Left and it Never Will

  On April 5, 2016, NPR did a story in Chicago about a (then mysterious) artist who, under cover of darkness, patched a few holes in a brick building using Legos. The artist did not sign his/her work and did not take credit for it.  The city was left to wonder who was responsible. The Legos, laid out in the…

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