Tag Archives: intellectual property

Landmark Music Copyright Reform Becomes Law

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At a ceremony in the Oval Office on Thursday, President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act into law. The Act represents a major reform of Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act. It received bipartisan support in Congress and has been widely praised by major record labels, streaming services, consumer groups and artists. Three provisions […]

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Copyright Suit Against Gwen Stefani Fails to “Spark the Fire”

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The United States District Court for the Central District of California has granted summary judgment in a copyright case stemming from singer Gwen Stefani’s 2014 hit song “Spark the Fire.” The suit was brought by Stefani’s former hairdresser Richard Morrill. He alleged that he played Stefani a song called “Who’s Got My Lightah” while working […]

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Tattoos and Copyright, Take-Two

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In 2016, Take-Two, a video game company that is the creator of the NBA 2K series of video games, was sued by Solid Oak Sketches, a company who owns the copyright in several NBA players’ tattoos. Solid Oak argued that the video game series, which seeks to simulate the NBA, infringed on their copyright because […]

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Texas Band Hits Chick-Fil-A, ESPN with Copyright Suit Over College Football Commercial

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Law360 reported a Texas rock band’s representatives, Platinum Jack Entertainment Inc., filed suit against Chick-Fil-A Inc. and ESPN Inc. in Texas federal court on Tuesday. The suit alleges that the pair of companies stole a song from Dallas rock band Drayter for in the background of two commercials the companies released featuring the well-known Chick-Fil-A […]

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“Empire” Strikes Back: Record Label Asks Supreme Court to Hear Trademark Infringement Suit

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In 2015, Empire Distribution Inc., a record label, sued Twentieth Century Fox for trademark infringement. The lawsuit revolves around the television show Empire, a “primetime drama based around a fictional [record label] of the name.” Both the real-life record label and the fictional record label predominantly release hip-hop songs. The Lanham Act, the main law that […]

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U.S. v AT&T/Time Warner: The Antitrust Trial of the Century

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On Monday, March 19th, the U.S. Department of Justice faced off against Time Warner and AT&T in what is called the Antitrust Trial of the century. With the rise of direct-to-streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon, Hollywood has seen aggressive content consolidation, such as Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox. The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the outcome […]

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Haters Gonna Hate: Taylor Swift Wins Copyright Lawsuit

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Last Friday, a California federal judge, Judge Fitzgerald, handed a win to Taylor Swift and her team when he dismissed a copyright suit against the singer with prejudice. This follows from a ruling in mid-February, where the judge granted a motion to dismiss for Swift’s team, but giving plaintiffs Sean Hall and Nathan Butler one chance to […]

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Nike Gets the ‘W’ in ‘Jumpman’ Copyright Suit

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On Tuesday, February 27, a 2-1 split Ninth Circuit panel rejected a copyright suit against Nike Inc. alleging the athletic company’s “Jumpman” logo infringed on a photographer’s copyright. The court ruled that the logo was not substantially similar enough to Jacobus Rentmeester’s photo of Jordan from a 1984 issue of LIFE magazine. Rentmeester originally had […]

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Redbox Squares Off Against Disney

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In the most recent litigation battle between powerhouses Disney and Redbox, Redbox triumphed as a federal court judge rejected Disney’s request for an injunction. In its initial lawsuit filed in December, Disney alleged that Redbox was in violation of their contract and of Disney’s copyrights due to its sale of download codes for Disney movies. […]

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Path Appears Clear for the Music Modernization Act

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The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) has joined the growing support for the Music Modernization Act. Due to state-by-state legislation that governs mechanical royalties, the current state of copyright legislation is incredibly complicated for songwriters to navigate. This legislation scheme has resulted in songwriters and publishers not receiving due royalties along with a host of […]

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