Marshall Thompson v. Getty Images: Determining a “Commercial Purpose”

Getty Images successfully defeated a claim by Marshall Thompson, singer and sole living member of the “Chi-Lite”, alleging that the online posting of his photo for possible licensing, was a violation of his right of publicity under Illinois Right of Publicity Act (IRPA), despite a contrary ruling (in a factually similar case) in Illinois in

U.S. Supreme Court Says “Enough Already”

In a rare decision involving trademark matters, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Already, LLC v. Nike Inc., a ruling that will likely impact disputes both inside and outside the trademark arena. The holding, which found that a defendant no longer had standing to cancel a trademark registration that the owner had asserted

What 2013 May Ring In For New Copyright Legislation

2012 was a quiet year for any new copyright legislation that could affect those engaged in the creation, production and distribution of entertainment media. With the elections behind us, this could change in 2013. The Copyright Office has indicated that it is interested in tackling several issues that were identified as office priorities in a

Einstein Publicity Rights Deemed Expired By California Federal Court

On October 15, 2012, a California federal judge dismissed Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s (“Hebrew University”) lawsuit against General Motors LLC (“GM”) over the use of Albert Einstein’s image as part of a GM advertisement, holding that Einstein’s publicity rights have expired and now fall in the public domain. Hebrew University of Jerusalem v. General Motors

Documentary Filmmaker Successfully Argues Fair Use in Central District of California

A federal court recently ruled that an unauthorized use of film clips in a documentary film satisfied the requirements of the fair use exception under the Copyright Act. In National Center For Jewish Film v. Riverside Films, LLC (C.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2012), the defendants made a documentary film entitled Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the

Monge v. Maya Magazines, Inc.: A Fair Use “Telenovela”:

On August 14, 2012, the majority of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Monge v. Maya Magazines, Inc., Nos. 10-56710, 11-55483 (9th Cir. 2012), reversed the decision of the District Court for the Central District of California and held that a tabloid’s publication of copyrighted photographs without permission was not a fair use under

Copyright Issues for Educational Institutions: Court Issues Long-Awaited Opinion in Georgia State University Copyright Infringement Case

On May 11, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued its long-awaited opinion in Cambridge University Press v. Becker, No. 1:08-CV-1425-ODE (N.D. Ga. May 11, 2012) which examined one of the new ways professors and students teach and learn in the digital age. Although the court found the University’s copyright