Tag: Copyrights and Copyright Violations

James Brown’s Will: Is It Inching Toward Closure After 14 Years?

After more than a decade of litigation over James Brown’s estate, which he, the Godfather of Soul, had largely bequeathed to underprivileged students in South Carolina and Georgia, the chief justice of South Carolina’s Supreme Court seemed irritated. “Has one scholarship been given, pursuant to Mr. Brown’s will?” the justice, Donald W. Beatty, pointedly asked […]

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Publishers Sue Internet Archive Over Free E-Books

A group of publishers sued Internet Archive on Monday, saying that the nonprofit group’s trove of free electronic copies of books was robbing authors and publishers of revenue at a moment when it was desperately needed. Internet Archive has made more than 1.3 million books available free online, which were scanned and available to one […]

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A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question

Addison Cain was living in Kyoto, volunteering at a shrine and studying indigenous Japanese religion. She was supposed to be working on a scholarly book about her research, but started writing intensely erotic Batman fan fiction instead. It happened almost by accident. It was 2012, and Ms. Cain — who grew up in Orange County, […]

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The Art Collections Are Real; the Owners Are Not

Episode 2 of “Mrs. America,” the new TV show dramatizing the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, features a glamorous party at the Guggenheim Museum. It’s 1972, and Gloria Steinem is launching her new magazine, Ms. She mingles, dances and then talks shop with a fellow women’s movement leader, Bella Abzug. As the two walk […]

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May the Fourth Be With Disney (Terms and Conditions Apply)

Disney’s attempt to rouse “Star Wars” fans on social media by encouraging them to share their favorite memories of the franchise backfired on Monday after its streaming service said those tweets and account handles could be used for the company’s purposes. “Celebrate the Saga! Reply with your favorite #StarWars memory and you may see it […]

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Georgia Can’t Copyright Its Entire State Code, the Supreme Court Rules

WASHINGTON — Georgia may not copyright its entire official code, which includes both the state’s laws and annotations interpreting them, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The 5-to-4 decision featured unusual alliances and would most likely be widely felt, as about 20 other states have claimed that parts of similar annotated codes are copyrighted. “If […]

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The Difference Between Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents

“It felt like my heart was being ripped out.” The first time artist and illustrator Yas Imamura saw her art for sale on unauthorized products online, she was shocked and surprised. Then it happened again. And again. And again. Intellectual property theft has always been a problem, but it has never affected as many people […]

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How the ‘Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World’ Got Its Logo

It began life as a tiny emblem, something to adorn a 45 r.p.m. single or the band’s letterhead. It quickly became ubiquitous and, ultimately, the most famous logo in rock ’n’ roll. Over 50 years, the legendary “tongue and lips” of the Rolling Stones has been emblazoned on everything from T-shirts and lighters to stage […]

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The Pandemic Is Not an Excuse to Exploit Writers

Authors have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially emerging writers who have books coming out in the next few months. With bookstores and libraries closed and book tours canceled, they are facing an enormous challenge in connecting with potential readers. It could be a career-destroying time for some authors, many of whom are struggling […]

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‘Emergency’ Online Library Draws Ire of Some Authors

It was initially presented as a rare and welcome sliver of good news for the literary world. Last week, Internet Archive, a nonprofit group, announced that it would drop the access restrictions for its scanned books to make them widely available to readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Calling it “a National Emergency Library to serve […]

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The ‘Blurred Lines’ Case Scared Songwriters. But Its Time May Be Up.

In the five years since a federal jury decided that Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” had copied Marvin Gaye’s disco-era standard “Got to Give It Up,” the music industry has been in an anxious state about copyright. That case and others raised serious questions about the legal protections available for music: When does homage […]

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To Fight the Coronavirus, Cut the Red Tape

These are scary times. The world is living through the double whammy of a pandemic health care crisis and a possible global economic depression. Fighting the coronavirus is hard enough. Government regulations shouldn’t make it any harder. But that’s exactly what’s happening. We have identified five kinds of regulations that we believe are hindering us […]

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Back at Work but Not on the Bench, Supreme Court Issues 3 Major Opinions

WASHINGTON — In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that states may abolish a common form of the insanity defense, that an entrepreneur suing Comcast for race discrimination must meet a demanding standard and that states are immune from claims of copyright infringement. In their latest response to the coronavirus, the […]

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Katy Perry Prevails as Judge Erases ‘Dark Horse’ Decision

In July, a federal jury stunned the music industry by finding that Katy Perry’s hit “Dark Horse” had infringed on the copyright of a Christian rap song, and the jury later ordered the pop star’s team to pay $2.8 million in damages. On Tuesday, the judge in that case made an equally surprising move by […]

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‘This Land Is Your Land’ Is Still Private Property, Court Rules

First, “Happy Birthday to You” lost its copyright. Then “We Shall Overcome” became public domain as well. But on Friday, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” avoided what had been shaping up as a growing trend affecting the copyright owners of old songs, as the publishers of “This Land” defeated a challenge against it. […]

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The Phillies Unveil a New Phanatic as Lawyers Fight Over Mascot Copyright

His bushy eyebrows are now bushier. His arms — green and fuzzy like the rest of his pear-shaped figure — have sprouted what appear to be dangling, scale-like feathers. And his posterior, already formidable, has grown even larger. At a spring training game on Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies unveiled a new look for the Phillie […]

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Disney Chairman Apologizes to P.T.A. Asked to Pay Fee After ‘Lion King’ Screening

The chairman of Disney said on Thursday that the company is apologizing to a California elementary school that was asked to pay for a license after it showed “The Lion King” at a fund-raiser organized by students’ parents in 2019. Robert A. Iger, the chairman, said in a post on Twitter that the company “apologizes […]

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Banksy Is a Control Freak. But He Can’t Control His Legacy.

The contrast between the 17th-century old master and 21st-century disrupter couldn’t have been more extreme. To the left, Rembrandt’s broodingly introspective “Self-Portrait With a Red Beret.” To the right, behind a protective glass screen, Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon,” the painting that had made global headlines when it sensationally self-destructed at an auction. Its frayed canvas […]

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Mother of ‘Success Kid’ Demands Steve King Stop Using His Meme

He stares hard at the camera, his clenched fist full of sand. The mother of the boy in this ubiquitous meme sent a cease-and-desist letter to Representative Steve King on Monday, demanding that the congressman remove her son’s copyrighted photo from websites and campaign materials. The mother, Laney Griner, sent the letter through her lawyer […]

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U.S. Cracks Down on Counterfeits in a Warning Shot to China

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is moving swiftly to ensure that China is keeping its promises to protect American intellectual property, ratcheting up searches for counterfeit goods at ports and increasing pressure on e-commerce companies like Amazon to halt online sales of Chinese knockoffs. The administration’s effort, unveiled on Friday, included a Department of Homeland […]

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