The Chilling Adventures of Copyright Infringement

This past fall, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was the Netflix Original that everyone was talking about. This show reimagines the world of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (a popular show released in the 90’s) with a new, dark spin. In this version of the show, Sabrina must choose between joining the world of witchcraft that her family belongs to and remaining in the human world with her boyfriend and friends. Yet what appeared.. Read More

Dance, Dance, Litigation: The Copyrightability of Dance

Everyone’s seen them. With the massive success of Epic Games’ Fortnite, the free-to-play battle royale video game, many of the in-game dances have gained mainstream notoriety among the younger generations. In the game, players can unlock different dances, or “emotes,” for their characters either by completing various objectives within the game or by paying a fee ranging from $5 to $10. Yet, the origins of many of these popular emotes have recently created.. Read More

EU’s New Copyright Directive: Will the U.S. Follow Suit?

The copyright directive that the European Parliament adopted in March (“the Directive”) won final approval from the European Council last month. Member states have two years to integrate its requirements into their own national law. The amendments—especially Article 17—stand in sharp contrast to U.S. internet governance laws and the EU’s existing copyright directive. Article 17, for example, would impose liability on sites that host copyright-infringing user-generated material, mandating that the sites proactively remove.. Read More

Copyright Strikes as a Tool for Censorship, Bullying, Extortion

With the advent and then explosion of consumer internet access in the 1990s, a concomitant threat of massive, anonymous, and difficult-to-trace copyright infringement also arose. Congress faced significant pressure from two major industries: traditional media producers and internet service providers. Traditional media producers feared the practical death of their intellectual property through unstoppable and untraceable internet file-sharing, while internet service providers feared endless lawsuits for the infringing activities of their users. Congress responded.. Read More

What Does EU’s New Copyright Law Mean for Online Service Providers?

A new copyright directive approved by the European Union on February 13 might fundamentally change the landscape for online service providers (OSPs). While the bill still awaits confirmation from European Parliament, once formally approved, it will compel OSPs to either obtain licenses or affirmatively screen for uploads of copyrighted materials. Article 11 and Article 13 are the most controversial provisions in the new directive. According to the final text (compiled by Member of.. Read More

Oracle v. Google and the Brain Teaser of API Copyright Protection

Since the beginning of the digital revolution, copyright law has had to adapt to the advent of new technologies and their impact on the world of creation. Software protection, mainly, raised a lot of issues that still fuel the judicial debate. Indeed, while it is well established that software can be copyrighted as literary works, the extent of the protection keeps on raising questions. In early cases, courts recognized the copyrightability of original.. Read More

1970s Musicians v. UMG & Sony: A Second Chance or Works For Hire?

On February 5, 2019, UMG Recordings (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (Sony) were sued by a group of musicians in a class action separately in Southern District of New York for violation of musicians’ right to a “second chance” under 17 U.S.C. §203, and thus violated §106 for copyright infringement, by refusing to honor termination notices stating their intention to reassert their copyrights over certain works. The group of musicians, with named plaintiffs.. Read More

Why the Innovative Design Protection Act Is a Good Thing

Although U.S. intellectual property laws cover a wide range of industries, they have lagged behind in the world of fashion design. U.S. laws are much less protective of fashion designs than European laws. Although the U.S. does afford some protection to designers, they currently cannot copyright articles of apparel. Over a century ago, the U.S. Copyright Office decided that all clothing is functional. Because a “useful article” cannot receive copyright protection, clothing designs.. Read More

DRM and Blockchain: A Solution to Protect Copyrights in the Digital World?

In the artistic world, the development of the Internet, while creating a tremendous way for artists to spread their work worldwide and gain in notoriety, created an environment very much in favor of online piracy, which right holders are still trying to circumvent. The development of new technologies made possible the transmission of unlawful high-quality copies of protected works to millions of individuals worldwide in a single click. But technology is also used.. Read More

“We’ve been Banksy-ed”: Intellectual Property Ramifications of Self-Destructing Art

On Friday night, October 5, 2018, attendees at Sotheby’s Auction House in London, got quite the surprise.  Moments after being sold for $1.4 million (£1,042,000) to the highest bidder, the painting, “Girl with Balloon,” proceeded to self-destruct.  The artist, Banksy, took credit for the stunt, posting the phrase “Going, going, gone…” on his Instagram page.  He also left a video, explaining, “a few years ago I secretly built a shredder into a painting…in case it was.. Read More