Archive for Copyright

The State of US Copyright Law

There have been two very high profile copyright cases regarding music in the last year. In both cases, a jury returned the opposite result of what most copyright scholars were anticipating. The first case, Blurred Lines involved two songs that both had party sounds, and liberal use of cow-bell-esque percussion. The second case, involving Stairway […]

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The Murky World of Implied Licenses

Say a company hires you to take some images for their website. In the negotiations back and forth the parties neglect to include an assignment or license for the images created. You decide to get cheeky and sue for copyright infringement. After all, they don’t have a license to the work or own it according […]

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Breach of License vs. Copyright Infringement

If you’ve granted someone a license to use your copyrighted work, and they violate the terms of the license, you may have a claim for breach of contract or copyright infringement. Which cause of action depends on the nature of the breach. Let us assume that you licensed the other party to use the copyrighted […]

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Adding Copyright Registration to Your Workflow

A few months ago I wrote about registering multiple works at once. Doing this at least once every three months has some important benefits. If you apply to register your copyright within three months of when you first publish a work, you are entitled to statutory damages from the date of first publication. So, even […]

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The Flexibility of a Copyright

One of the great powers that comes with a copyright is that you can break up the rights that come with it in any number of ways. By statute, you are granted the exclusive rights to reproduce the work; prepare derivative works; distribute copies; perform the work publicly; and display the work publicly. Each of […]

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Copyright and Crosswords

On March 4th, FiveThirtyEight.com published a story regarding copying and alleged plagiarism in the world of crossword puzzles. Specifically, Timothy Parker, one of the most widely syndicated crossword editors in the nation, has edited over 60 puzzles that copy significant portions of the themes and grids from the New York Times crosswords, in addition to […]

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How to Protect my IP in Manufacturing?

A strong non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and a US based manufacturer are your best ways to protect your intellectual property if you’re working with a third party manufacturer. Too often you hear stories of foreign manufacturers making a product for their client, then slightly modifying the molds and making essentially identical products for their own resale. […]

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Copyrighting Your Website

Under current guidance from the US Copyright Office, you cannot claim copyright on the layout of your website. You can include text, artwork, music, or animations thereon, but the copyright office does not treat the layout of the site as an independently copyrightable aspect. If you’d like to copyright your website, consider including original artwork, […]

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Can I Register Copyright on Multiple Works at a Time?

While registering a single work by a single author is only $35 using the electronic Copyright Office (eCO), you can save time and money by registering a collection of works at one time. With a fee of $55 on the eCO you can register dozens of photographs or paintings at once. Doing this regularly is […]

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Copyright and Art Law Talk – January 21st

I will be giving a talk on Copyright and Art law for artists on Thursday, January 21st at 6:30 PM at the Armory on Highland Avenue in Somerville. Check out the Facebook event, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

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