Inclusion Riders: What Are They? And Can They Fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem?

With the rise of the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up initiative, Hollywood is beginning to truly reflect on the problems within the entertainment community.  Diversity, or the lack thereof, has been a long running issue in Hollywood and is finding itself in the spotlight once more. In her acceptance speech for the Best Actress Award at the Oscars, Frances McDormand puzzled the audience when she left them with the words “inclusion rider”,.. Read More

Impression Prods. v. Lexmark Int’l and it’s potential implications in IP law

Impression Prods. v. Lexmark Int’l is a Supreme Court case decided this term that played its part in continuing to reshape IP law in 2017. In the decision, the Supreme Court considered two questions. First, whether a “conditional sale” that transfers title to the patented item while specifying post-sale restrictions on the article’s use or resale avoids application of the patent exhaustion doctrine and therefore permits the enforcement of such post-sale restrictions through.. Read More

How Should Spotify Compensate Songwriters?

How Should Spotify Compensate Songwriters?   In July 2017, Spotify was sued by songwriter Robert Gaudio and Bluewater Music Services Corporation, a music publisher responsible for ensuring songwriters receive payments when their compositions are used commercially. Gaudio and Bluewater alleged that Spotify committed willful copyright infringement by streaming their songs without acquiring mechanical licenses and paying royalties to the songwriters. Recorded songs involve two separate sets of copyrights: song composition rights owned by.. Read More

ResearchGate and Copyright Violations

Authors and publishers have different goals when it comes to the availability of their work, which can result in conflict that manifests itself in copyright issues. Specifically, when it comes to research, researchers want to share their discoveries; it is a great accomplishment to be published and to have one’s work viewed and sited by a greater number of people. However, publishers’ goals are more solely based on making money, so they often.. Read More

New York City’s Bizarre Law Against Dancing

Until very recently, New York City’s “Cabaret Law” hung like a black cloud over the music and dance scene in one of the world’s most famously cultured cities. Though the law has been scarcely enforced since the early 1920s, it remained on the books until a group called the Dance Liberation Network petitioned successfully to have the law repealed on November 2nd, 2017. The law required that any “public dance hall” or “cabaret”.. Read More

Standing in Patent Infringement Suits and the “All Substantial Rights” Doctrine

On Thursday, November 16 at New York University School of Law, patent lawyers and students gathered for the Patent Law Reading Group Alumni Night hoping to gain some insight on who has standing to bring a suit for patent infringement. NYU alum and patent lawyer at Goodwin Christopher Morten (’15) gave a presentation on his research decoding the federal circuit’s “All Substantial Rights” doctrine and, in his opinion, which factors are truly dispositive.. Read More

Nancy Axilrod, IP and Litigation Guru

On November 10, Nancy Axilrod came to NYU to talk about her work as a litigator, in house lawyer, and currently her work as General Counsel, for Tapestry, Inc. She gave insightful tips on how to succeed in the industry as well as giving students a look inside her work as a general counsel lawyer.   Tapestry, Inc (formerly known as Coach, Inc) is an American luxury fashion company. They own three major.. Read More

When Are Artists “Featured” In Songs?

On November 15, 2016, Canadian artist Able “The Weeknd” Tesfaye released his third studio album, titled “Starboy”. The album contains 18 tracks, all of which credit Tesfaye as a writer. Additionally, the album credits indicate contributions from several other artists on each song. Notwithstanding these fine-print credits, only six of the tracks identify a featured artist in the track title. A closer examination of the credits reveal more apparent inconsistencies. Artist Future performs.. Read More

Matal v. Tam and Disparaging Trademarks

Simon Tam,  “I’d be happy to send [Redskins or Daniel Snyder] some legal bills.”   Simon Tam, the front man of a Portland based dance-rock band named “The Slants”, filed suit against the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) when the PTO refused to trademark their band’s name. Their trademark was rejected under section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the disparagement clause. The disparagement clause provides that the PTO may prohibit the registration of.. Read More

Interview: Professor Fromer and the Star Athletica case

In this interview, Jeanne Fromer, professor at NYU School of Law, discusses her experience filing an amicus brief in the Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. case decided this past year. The Court ruled that the useful article doctrine did not pose a bar to Varsity Brands’ enforcement of copyright against Star Athletica in five designs of Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms. Jeanne Fromer also discusses her views on and critiques of the.. Read More