Brammer V. Violent Hues: The Internet Confronts Fair Use

Brammer v. Violent Hues: The Internet Confronts Fair Use

by Laura Marsh On June 11, 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia handed down a decision that has left many copyright attorneys and experts scratching their heads. Photographer/plaintiff Russell Brammer sued production company Violent Hues Productions, LLC for copyright infringement in September of 2017, but the defendant company’s motion for summary judgment was granted based…

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Trademarking: Because A Name Isn’t Just A “Name”

Trademarking: Because a Name Isn’t Just a “Name”

by Madison Silvey A few weeks ago, many across the nation were a buzz * scratch that * a flutter when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released this tweet: Supporters and protestors alike took to the streets and to their computers to ensure that the Red Hen restaurant knew their stance on this hot-button issue. However, many of…

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Sufficient Creativity Required For Copyright Protection

Sufficient Creativity Required For Copyright Protection

by Jake Villarreal The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to create copyright law, which is meant to spur artistic and literary development by producing creative works. But what exactly qualifies as a creative work? The U.S. Copyright Office requires that anything receiving copyright protection have “some minimum degree of creativity.” That standard came from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision…

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The Music Modernization Act: What It Is And What’s Next

The Music Modernization Act: What It Is And What’s Next

by Laura Marsh The Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) is a bill in Congress on its way to becoming law. It has brought together songwriters, music publishers, artists, record labels, and streaming services in an unprecedented fashion. Even though these groups typically do not see eye to eye when it comes to copyright issues, the MMA would mark a significant victory…

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Are “Selves” Necessary To Own Selfies?

Are “Selves” Necessary to Own Selfies?

by Madison Silvey Who owns a “selfie”? On April 23rd of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that a monkey cannot. Rewind to 2011. Naruto, a six-year-old crested macaque from Indonesia, snapped a quick photo of himself using nature photographer David John Slater’s camera. Slater, who was on assignment in Indonesia at the time, then…

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Chihuly Sued By Assistant

Chihuly Sued by Assistant

by Claire Henleben Renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly has used teams of unpaid assistants and contractors for the past 15 years to help create his extravagant works of art, which have been shown in over 200 botanical gardens, museums, and galleries worldwide. One such former assistant, Michael Moi, recently sued Mr. Chihuly over his claimed failure to compensate him after…

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Fashion Label Accused Of Theft

Fashion Label Accused of Theft

by Claire Henleben Street artist Rime, whose real name is Joseph Tierney, filed a 2015 lawsuit in California federal court against fashion giant Moschino alleging copyright and trademark infringement. The suit was filed following the runway debut of a full-length evening gown designed by Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott, and worn by famous model Gigi Hadid. The dress features a design…

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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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