Welcoming the Marrakesh Treaty into a Consequentialist Framework

  Curing the Book Famine The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities is widely lauded as a miracle. The Treaty aims to cure the global “book famine” that millions of the blind and visually impaired have suffered from due to a lack of access to published knowledge. It is the first copyright treaty to expressly proclaim a foundation based on human rights.. Read More

Copyright Protection Of Designs Incorporated In Apparels And Uncertainty In The Law?

Case Analysis: Varsity Brands, Inc. V. Star Athletica, LLC Facts Varsity Brands Inc., a manufacturer of cheerleading uniforms, brought an action against Star Athletica, LLC, alleging infringement of its copyrighted uniform designs.Regarding thecopyright infringement claims raised by Varsity Brands, the district court concluded that Varsity’s designs were not copyrightable because the graphic elements were not ‘physically or conceptually separable’ from the ‘utilitarian function’ of the cheerleading uniform because the “colors, stripes, chevrons, and.. Read More

Native Advertising: The Blurred Lines between Sponsored and Non-Sponsored Content and the FTC’s Response

In the modern age of social media, companies have increasingly begun to turn to native advertising to promote their products and services. Native advertising is a form of marketing in which an advertisement resembles the form and function of the media platform on which it appears. The goal of native advertising is for a paid advertisement to blend in with the regular content that is usually featured on the platform. Examples of native.. Read More

Is There a Licensing Market for Tattoos?

  Take-Two Interactive Software, publisher of the popular video game series NBA 2K, scored a victory this past summer when it successfully dismissed a claim for statutory damages by Solid Oak Sketches, a tattoo licensing company. Solid Oak had sued over the in-game depictions of tattoos worn by several famous basketball players, including LeBron James, but its claims were dismissed by Judge Laura Swain in the Southern District of New York. In her.. Read More

Why Are Songwriters Suing the Justice Department?

In today’s digital environment, recorded music is more accessible now than ever before. Through online music streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes radio, users have all of the world’s music at their fingertips. However, while users have benefited from the growth of streaming music, songwriters have had to face tremendous declines in their revenue (“My Song Was Played 178 Million Times and I Was Paid $5,769”). With their livelihood threatened, the.. Read More

Chasing YouTube: How Europe Plans to Hold Web Platforms Accountable

As the Internet gravitates toward social media and viral content, claims of ownership over online content become more and more difficult to enforce. Songs and music videos are posted illegally on dozens of sites, and even news articles are often compiled by aggregators before finding their way to large segments of the public. Record labels that previously enjoyed sizable profits on the music they produced have now seen their revenues decline sharply over.. Read More

Fashion Copyright and the Muddling of the Useful Articles Doctrine

“The law in this area is a mess—and it has been for a long time.” Such was the dissent’s blunt assessment of the state of copyright law as applied to garment design in Varsity Brands v. Star Athletica, a recent 6th Circuit case dealing with the copyrightability of the patterns on cheerleader uniforms. With respect to its eligibility for protection under copyright law, and in contrast to the much broader protections available under.. Read More

The Companies Behind the #WTFU

If you follow vloggers like Nostalgia Critic or Honest Trailers, you might be familiar with the hashtag #WTFU. No, it’s not an acronym for a rude phrase—it stands for “Where is The Fair Use?” Here’s the lowdown: YouTube videos that use clips or sound bites from other work have been facing an flurry of takedown notices for alleged copyright infringement. The problem is that these videos are only using bits and pieces of.. Read More

Copyright: The Right Move?

Whether it is General Zod, The Eradicator, or Lex Luther, no force has ever been able to defeat Superman. But over the past seventy years, there has been a force so powerful and extensive that even Superman has been unable to evade its reach. Its power lies in its ability to restrict and control the free flow of the fruits of creativity. To some it is a villain, and to others it is.. Read More

Copyright of Meme-Saturated, Appropriation Culture

In November 2015, a Twitter user by the name of @updog7 scanned and posted every page of Josh Ostrovsky’s (@thefatjewish) book, Money Pizza Respect, on Twitter. Updog7 does not appear to be affiliated with Ostrovsky, in fact, the name itself is thought to be a reference to an alleged front account Ostrovsky made (@uptownfunkdog) after backlash against the amount of “stolen” jokes he posted on his account without attribution. In theory, Ostrovsky would credit.. Read More