Internet On Trial

Internet On Trial

Modern Day Litigation, Cyber Defamation, and Law in Sports & Entertainment

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Registering copyrights: Is it really worth the $35?

Posted in Copyright

When copyright protection was created in the late 1700s, it was for books, poetry, and other written works. After all, Thomas Edison didn’t invent the phonograph until almost a century later, and sound recordings weren’t commonly made until the 1900s. But as technology allowed new ways of disseminating creative material, copyright law has evolved to… Continue Reading

Don’t Become a Statistic: Fight Copyright Trolls Now

Posted in Copyright, Internet & Media Law

Copyright trolls like Malibu Media, Voltage Pictures, Dallas Buyers Club, TCYK, and Manny Film LLC now account for over 40% of all copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States. Over the last half decade, these and other vexatious litigants have devised a scheme to outmaneuver the legal system by exploiting the nexus of antiquated U.S. copyright… Continue Reading

NJ Court Rules In Favor of Copyright Trolls

Posted in Computer Crimes, Copyright, New Jersey, Privacy Law

For a while, it’s seemed like the tides had turned on copyright trolls, as federal court judges appear to be more and more skeptical of the (lack of) merits to the concept and strategy behind mass copyright litigation. But a recent decision by a New Jersey federal court magistrate judge seems to send the opposite message–for copyright trolls not to give up, that the courthouse doors are still very much open. At least that’s the message I inferred from the headline in the New Jersey Law Journal “Multiple John Doe Defendants Permitted in BitTorrent Case” (subscription required).… Continue Reading

Jersey Boys’ Use of Ed Sullivan Show Clip is ‘Fair Use’

Posted in Copyright, Entertainment Law, New Jersey

The penalties for copyright & trademark infringement can be substantial, even crippling. Don’t ever assume that you can borrow someone else’s material based on the fair use doctrine. Before you “borrow” something for your movie, song, advertisement, website, blog, photograph, etc., speak to an attorney who is familiar with the fair use doctrine.… Continue Reading

Who Knew this was Copyright Infringement?

Posted in Copyright

Today on CBS Sunday Morning, they did a piece on rock-n-roll photographer Bob Gruen, who has apparently photographed every significant mainstream musical artist in the last half century. What, you’ve never heard of him? Neither had I. But you’re undoubtedly familiar with his work. During his tenure as John Lennon’s personal photographer, Gruen shot this iconic… Continue Reading

Witness Examination at a Deposition is Different from Trial

Posted in Copyright, Entertainment Law

The Oscars are happening this weekend, so it’s a good thing that I finally got around to seeing The Social Network (the one about how Facebook started), which is one of the best-picture nominees. What a great film. Great acting (Justin Timberlake notwithstanding). Great directing. Great cinematography. But bad depiction of what is called the discovery process, in pre-trial… Continue Reading

Camera Phones, Copyright Infringement & The Fair Use Doctrine

Posted in Copyright

Apple says the iPhone changed everything. Be that as it may, garden variety cell phone–camera devices have been around about a decade longer than Apple’s iconic iPhones, and conceptually speaking, these devices have had a greater impact on our at-large social habits, news, criminal justice system—and even our society—than Steve Jobs could ever dream of.… Continue Reading

Law Firm X’mas Cards

Posted in Copyright, Media Law

  Because of the fact being that I’m in the process of opening a second office—in another state, no less—my office won’t be sending out “holiday” cards this year. It’s not that I don’t have the time. I could easily plug something into my word processor, send it through mail merge, and they’d all pop… Continue Reading

“Sports Law” Doesn’t Really Exist: Part III, Intellectual Property

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Right of Publicity, Sports, Trademark

Given the way in which sports—even collegiate sports—have become so heavily branded, merchandised, and televised, another area of law that routinely intersects sports is intellectual property—namely copyright, trademark, licensing, and the all-but-forgotten right-of-publicity. For example, the University of Alabama sued the artist who painted this picture commemorating the Tide’s 2010 BCS National Championship. The artist,… Continue Reading