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Copyright

Cohen Law > Copyright (Page 2)

Google’s Fair Use Defense to Authors Copyright Infringement

Last month, Google got the vote for “most popular technology brand,” beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Apple. Google has grown to include its own specialized search tool for Maps, News, Shopping, Videos, etc. A few years back, Google started Google Books and made an agreement with several research libraries to scan books for its Google Books Library Project. It has scanned 12 million books over the course of the project. The website for Google Books describes that you can view a few “snippets” or sentences of copyrighted books and you can fully view a book that is out of copyright. The website...

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Charlie Sheen Trademark Infringement and Right of Publicity

For $250, guests of a New York Gentlemen’s Club could eat sushi off the body of an almost-naked woman in the “Charlie Sheen Room.” At least until Sheen’s lawyer sent the Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit for millions, which the club complied with. The “Charlie Sheen Room” featured Sheen’s name and images. It sounds a little creepy, but hey, to each his own. The president of the company owning Cheetahs, Sam Zherka, denied that it used Sheen’s name to promote the business. Rather, he says that the strip club used the name for comical effect...

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Tupac Hologram Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues

Most of you have probably heard about the Tupac hologram at the Coachella Music Festival in California over the weekend. If you haven’t…read the news, there was a Tupac hologram at the Coachella Music Festival over the weekend. Now that’s out of the way, why is this important? First, it was a great post-mortem performance along side Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg which can be seen here. Second, in addition to the incredible technical feat of the hologram, which was a collaboration pushed by Dr. Dre and done by Digital Domain Productions and AV Concepts, Pandora’s box blew up with speculation...

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The Velvet Underground Sues Andy Warhol Foundation for Trademark Infringement

Issues of copyright and trademark ownership can become tricky when an artist makes a work for hire.  This is currently the case with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and 60’s rock band The Velvet Underground.  Many people would recognize the Andy Warhol stylized print of a banana as the Velvet Underground’s unofficial logo.  Many of the same people would also know that the banana was created by Warhol, who often collaborated with the band.  But who owns the rights to the iconic print? The banana print was never properly trademarked through a trademark attorney, neither was the copyright.  The...

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Pinterest Walking a Copyright Infringement Tightrope

The content sharing mega-site “Pinterest” is rapidly gaining online momentum.  The site features a virtual “pinboard” where users can post photos they find online and arrange them into albums, sort of like scrapbooking.  The site is hugely popular to women under the age of 35; Pinterest’s Facebook page is “liked” by 97% women.  This site has been rapidly hailed a demographic marketing super-success, and with good reason.  But the site has also drawn an increasing amount of criticism and scrutiny.  Pinterest is coming under intense legal pressure; the copyright infringement issues seem glaringly obvious.  Unlike Facebook, Youtube, and other very...

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Copyright-Infringing Artist May do Hard Time

Is it possible to do jail time for copyright infringement?  If you destroy and falsify discovery information during your federal trial, the answer is yes.  You are probably familiar with the iconic Obama posters from the 2008 election.  The hugely successful posters were created by Los Angeles artist Shepard Fairey.  Fairey based the image off a copyright-protected image, owned by the Associated Press.  In 2009, perhaps in a preemptive move, Fairey sued the Associated Press in Federal Court, seeking a declaration that the poster constituted “Fair Use.”  The AP countersued.  Fairey claimed he had used a certain image of Obama...

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NFL Trademark Use a no-no

Every year, about this time, businesses are unexpectedly sued for using two seemingly harmless words: “Super Bowl”. Any advertising, promotion or announcement that is not sanctioned by the National Football League is subject to swift legal action by the NFL. The NFL owns registered trademarks for “Super Bowl,” and “Super Bowl Sunday.” And they aggressively monitor and enforce those trademarks. “NFL,” “AFL,” and the names and nicknames of all NFL teams are also registered trademarks, owned by the NFL. In fact, even if the terms are not used, it could be considered a copyright violation if the game is broadcast on a screen larger than 55 diagonal inches,...

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SOPA Blackout Gathers Momentum, Includes Wikipedia

If you’re planning on using Wikipedia this Wednesday, January 18th, you may be disappointed.  The web site is strongly considering a 12-hour blackout, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA.”  Other major sites, most notably Reddit.com have already announced blackouts that day.  According to a statement by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on a recent Wiki discussion board: “I’m all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit. I’d like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but...

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Rose Bowl Copyright Infringement

Copyright litigation can be tricky without an attorney.  Take, for example, the case of David Bartholomew, a man who claims he is the original designer of the Rose Bowl and Parade logo.  Bartholomew claims he came up with the logo while attending school at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design in 1977.  Bartholomew claims that he made the design and gave it to the tournament’s staff, who released it a few years later as the work of a different student, Susan Karasic.  Karasic vehemently denies any of this, and says that she has various sketchbook drawings, showing the evolution of...

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Hangover Copyright Infringement of Tyson Tattoo?

The Hangover: Part II, set to hit theaters this Thursday, will not be hampered by a copyright infringement lawsuit, at least for now. The tattoo on Mike Tyson’s face was done by tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill, and Whitmill’s work is distinct enough that he doesn’t want anyone copying it. That includes Ed Helms’ character, in the second installment of the Hangover saga. The problem is that Helms’ tattoo wasn’t done by Whitmill, and he claims Warner Bros. took unlawful liberty in reproducing his distinct style on someone else’s face. Someone else’s high-profile face, that is. The tattoo factors highly...

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