Invasion of the Bot E-Snatchers? Not Quite.

Automated software programs, or “bots,” have been in use since the early days of the internet, perhaps most notably by search engines and online market aggregators to power their services. This type of bot usage has mostly been tolerated because of its synergistic effects, but companies have grown warier of who they allow on their servers as bots have become more numerous and sophisticated. From “scrapers” that trawl LinkedIn user profiles for data.. Read More

Online Subscriptions: The Key to Fighting Piracy in the Internet of Tomorrow?

I recently came across The New York Times article “How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It,” by Fahrad Manjoo. Being that I’m fascinated by the idea that the Internet is the manifestation of consciousness and culture is the expression of it, I was immediately intrigued by an analysis of the relationship between the two. The article begins by acknowledging how business sectors in the past few decades have suffered at the.. Read More

Is Marilyn Monroe Generic?

Marilyn Monroe was—and continues to be—one of the most iconic actresses in the world. And while there is no doubt that Marilyn Monroe is a household name, is it possible that her name has become too well-known? Apparently so. On March 13, 2017, Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) issued a ruling that permits a counterclaim to cancel Marilyn Monroe’s trademarks.. Read More

3D Printing as a Copyright Infringement

South Africa has achieved another technological milestone. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s renewable energy laboratory recently constructed one of Africa’s largest 3D printers. With the emerging market for 3D printing, there are concerns regarding the intellectual property implications of these products. “When you think about it,” Likonelo Magagula, director of Norton Rose Fulbright based in Johannesburg, said, “making an authorized copy of something can constitute either patent or copyright infringement, it matters not what.. Read More

The Raiders Are Likely Moving to Las Vegas, but Who’s Paying for It?

After several years of speculation, it appears that the NFL is finally ready to gamble on the Las Vegas market. In January 2017, the Oakland Raiders filed relocation papers with the NFL to move to Las Vegas—the first step in the relocation process for an NFL franchise. The next step is for 24 of the 32 NFL owners to approve the move at the NFL owners’ meetings held from March 26 to 29… Read More

Sports Blackout Rules in the Age of Cord-Cutting

Watching sports on television used to be a simple proposition. You had a basic cable package that let you to watch your local team on its television partner’s channel and certain national broadcasts. If you lived outside of your favorite team’s market or did not have cable, you were out of luck. However, the increase in internet streaming options and quality has put the traditional cable model under pressure. A recent study shows.. Read More

Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc. and the Future of Digital Resale

In 2013, the Southern District of New York decided a case, Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi Inc., that effectively eliminated a consumer’s ability to resell lawfully owned digital goods. Now the Second Circuit will hear the appeal, and anyone interested in a coherent future for copyright law, or an effective right to sell their goods, would do well to pay attention. ReDigi’s software provided users with an online market for buying and selling.. Read More

Disparaging Trademarks and Free Speech – Will the Supreme Court Strike Down the Disparagement Clause?

15 U.S.C. 1052(a) and its validity was examined in Lee v. Tam. The question is, will the Supreme Court strike it down? The statute in question is the “disparagement provision” of the 1946 Lanham Trademark Act, which prohibits the registration of any mark that “may disparage persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” Registration of a trademark provides nationwide protection against others from using the name. In 2011,.. Read More

Artists Urging Reforms of the DMCA Safe Harbor: ‘Our Culture Is At Stake’

Last month, T Bone Burnett, a legendary musician, songwriter, and record producer, submitted a five-minute video to the U.S. Copyright Office calling for reforms in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown-and-notice process on behalf of the Content Creators Coalition (C3) members and all music creators. In the video posted on February 21, Burnett illustrates how the current business models “designed to scrape away value rather than fuel new creation, focused on taking.. Read More

Stephanie Lenz, the Dancing Baby, and the Changing Landscape of Fair Use on YouTube

Last month marked the 10-year anniversary of the day that Stephanie Lenz uploaded a twenty-nine second clip of her one-year-old dancing to YouTube. The seemingly innocent video picked up very little steam across the web—the video was similar to any other home video, perhaps with an added dose of humor. This video would soon, however, become an international phenomenon because of a music clip playing in the background. In 2007, Universal Music Group.. Read More