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Copyright Law Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

US Copyright Office rulings on requests for dance copyrights

We recently posted a blog about three lawsuits alleging that the owner of Fortnite, the popular video game, violated copyrights in three dances reproduced in the game without permission or credit. As we described, dance choreography can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, but the copyright requirements for dance are complicated and significant.

Part 2: Court watchers speculate about Fourth Estate arguments

In this second part of our look at the January 8 oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, we will consider what legal professionals are surmising from the justices' questions and comments.

Part 1: High court hears argument in Fourth Estate copyright case

On January 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the important copyright infringement case of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, LLC. We previously told readers about this dispute that will require the highest court to make a crucial interpretation of the U.S. Copyright Act.

Court refuses to dismiss photographer’s copyright claims

At our law firm, we represent photographers and other creative artists in a variety of copyright matters, including negotiating, drafting and reviewing licenses for use of copyrighted materials. We also bring and defend copyright infringement suits.

Many copyrighted works lose copyright protection in New Year

On New Year's Day, 2019, hundreds of thousands of creative works will enter the public domain when their copyright protections expire. An article in Smithsonian Magazine explains the interesting phenomena of this massive expiration after 20 years with no copyright releases. 

Claims against Fortnite allege violation of rights in dance moves

Three celebrities have filed lawsuits against Epic Games, the creator of the wildly popular video game Fortnite, for allegedly using their signature dance sequences in the game without their permission and without giving them credit, reports The Washington Post. The suits bring claims for copyright infringement, violation of their rights of publicity and unfair competition.

Music Modernization Act: Landmark music copyright law signed

In an unusual move in this time of deep division, sweeping federal copyright legislation updating copyright law for the digital age was unanimously passed in both the House and Senate. The president signed it on October 11, 2018. 

Court gives second try at climbing the "Stairway to Heaven"

At Lawrence G. Townsend, Intellectual Property Lawyer, in San Francisco, we represent people in copyright infringement disputes involving a variety of creative works, including those involving music and sound recordings. In current copyright news, the owner of the copyright to an obscure 1960s rock song who alleges that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was copied from it has a second chance to prove his case. 

Introduction to the work-made-for-hire doctrine in copyright

At our law firm, we represent employers, employees and independent contractors in disputes over ownership of copyrights to creative works conceived during working relationships between the parties. In these disputes, the issue is often whether the creative work is a "work made for hire." 

Introduction to book-publishing contracts

At our law firm, we are well versed in legal and practical issues that come up in the negotiation of book-publishing agreements. We represent book authors as well as publishers throughout the process of publishing-contract drafting, review and negotiation

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