Ninth Circuit Provides Valuable Guide to Obtaining Copyright Protection for Customer Data

Those familiar with copyright law recognize the well-established principle that facts are not eligible for copyright protection. A compilation of facts may be eligible, however, if the selection or arrangement of facts reflects the requisite originality and creativity to warrant copyright protection. In Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service Co., the U.S. Supreme Court considered

Court Holds Violation of FTC Endorsement Guidelines Does Not Lead to Federal Trademark Claim

While brand owners often benefit from the endorsement of online and social media “influencers,” such endorsements must not mislead consumers as to the relationship between the brand and individual endorsing the brand’s products or services. To ensure that “material connections” between brands and influencers are clearly and fully disclosed, the FTC has put forth guidelines

Discovery Channel Avoids Liability for Reality Star’s Inflammatory Facebook Post (Hawke v. Discovery Communications)

Fans of the Discovery Channel’s survival television programs may be familiar with reality stars Mykel Hawke, previously featured in the channel’s program Man, Woman, Wild, and Mykel’s former military colleague, Joseph Teti, star of Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival. Hawke and Teti were, at one time, friends as well as business partners. The relationship ultimately deteriorated

Client Alert: Copyright Office Amends DMCA Designated Agent Rule – May 10, 2017

Earlier today, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a new release of its electronic system used to designate and search for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) agents. Under the DMCA, a qualified online service provider (OSP) is not liable for copyright infringement with respect to infringing material residing on the OSP’s network if, upon notification of

Supreme Court Finds Decorative Elements of Cheerleading Uniforms Eligible for Copyright Protection (Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.)

In an opinion issued last week, the Supreme Court held that a “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural” feature incorporated into the design of a useful article—in this case, a cheerleading uniform—is eligible for copyright protection if it satisfies a two-part test: (1) the element can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate

Copyright Termination: A Primer

I. WHAT DOES “COPYRIGHT TERMINATION” MEAN? Copyright termination refers to the termination of a grant—or transfer—of one’s copyright rights. Following termination, those rights that were transferred under the grant return to the creator of the copyrighted work. This termination right allows content creators to renegotiate the terms of their original agreements, or enter into new

Second Circuit Revives Iron Man Theme Copyright Infringement Suit Against Sony

A recent Second Circuit opinion has revived songwriter Jack Urbont’s copyright infringement claim against Sony Music Entertainment, Razor Sharp Records, and rapper Dennis Coles (popularly known as Ghostface Killah). Urbont had brought suit in 2011 against Coles, along with Sony and Razor Sharp, alleging that Coles had improperly sampled Urbont’s “Iron Man Theme” (“Theme”) on

Supreme Court Determines Objective Reasonableness Should Receive Substantial Weight in Assessing Fee Awards under the Copyright Act, But Not to Exclusion of Other Factors (Kirtsaeng v. Wiley)

For the first time in twenty-two years, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion issued yesterday, addressed the question of when an award of attorney’s fees is appropriate under the U.S. Copyright Act. According to the Court, the objective reasonableness of a losing party’s legal positions should be given substantial weight within a broader analysis