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

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

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