Tag Archives: Copyright

SCOTUS Unanimously Holds Copyright Owners Must Obtain Registration Before Filing Suit

BY: Michael Kolcun | March 6, 2019

The Supreme Court has finally resolved the application v. registration debate by holding the Copyright Act obligates an owner to obtain a registration for their work before filing an infringement action. As reported here, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com thrust the Eleventh Circuit into a dispute that has split numerous Circuits:  whether the … Continue reading

“Let’s Get It On” to a Jury – Ed Sheeran Goes to Trial

BY: Carly Kessler | January 11, 2019

The year didn’t start on a high note for Ed Sheeran. Back in 2016, Sheeran was sued by the heirs of “Let’s Get It On” (LGO) co-writer, Ed Townsend, who accused Sheeran of copying several elements of LGO in his 2014 hit, “Thinking Out Loud” (TOL).  Sheeran tried to get the suit thrown out on … Continue reading

Fresh Prince Star Sues Fortnite and NBA 2K over the Carlton Dance

BY: Michael Kolcun | December 21, 2018

After we reported their recent controversy over the Milly Rock, Fornite’s creators were hit with another suit for using the Carlton Dance, as were the makers of NBA 2K16. Alfonso Ribeiro – best known as Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – claims the creators of Fortnite and NBA 2K16 are ripping off … Continue reading

Fortnite Creators Sued for Infringing Rapper’s Dance Moves

BY: Michael Kolcun | December 13, 2018

After claiming the most popular video game ever was biting his moves, rapper 2 Milly brought a copyright suit to protect the Milly Rock. In his complaint, 2 Milly argues Epic Games infringed his copyright in the “Milly Rock” dance craze that has garnered 18 million views on YouTube and has been emulated by celebrities, … Continue reading

Taylor Swift Sets New Norms for Artists

BY: Carly Kessler | November 29, 2018

Taylor Swift just signed a new record deal that will likely influence the ways in which other artists negotiate with labels. On November 19, the 28-year-old megastar, said goodbye to her longtime label Big Machine Records, and partnered with Universal Music Group’s (“UMG”) Republic Records. Big Machine, based in Nashville, Tennessee, has released all of … Continue reading

The Second Circuit Calls a False Start on NFL Photographer Litigation

BY: Michael Kolcun | September 13, 2018

Just after the close of an eventful Week 1, the NFL was hit with the revival of an extensive lawsuit claiming it wrongfully exploited thousands of game-day photos without permission or payment. Spinelli v. NFL, No. 17-673 (2d Cir. Sept. 11, 2018) was brought by a group of photographers who allege that the AP – … Continue reading

Plaintiff’s Claims Don’t Hold Water – Judge Tosses ‘Shape of Water’ Copyright Suit

BY: Carly Kessler | August 6, 2018

In June, I reported on a copyright infringement case concerning Oscar-winning film, The Shape of Water. The suit was filed in February in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, on the same day that the Academy voters started filling out their final ballots for nominees (coincidence?). In May, Defendants, Guillermo del Toro and Twentieth … Continue reading

The Shape of Water Tries to Shake off Plagiarism Controversy

BY: Carly Kessler | June 7, 2018

The Shape of Water, winner of four Oscars this year, is defending itself in a copyright infringement lawsuit which asserts the film copies a 1969 sci-fi play.  The suit was filed on February 21, 2018, just one day after Oscar voting began, and is pending in the Central District of California.  Defendants, which include Twentieth … Continue reading

Jay-Z is Big Pimpin’ in the Ninth Circuit

BY: Michael Kolcun | June 6, 2018

After more than a decade of litigation, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of an infringement action against Jay-Z for his song, Big Pimpin’, holding moral rights under Egyptian law are unenforceable in the U.S. Fahmy v. Jay-Z, et al., No. 16-55213 (9th Cir. May 31, 2018), involved the background music to Jay-Z’s hit, … Continue reading

Copyright Suit Against HBO Tossed

BY: Carly Kessler | May 10, 2018

HBO escaped a copyright lawsuit on Tuesday May 1, after a New York federal judge dismissed claims filed against the network by a graffiti artist. Last July, Itoffee R. Gayle, sued the television network for featuring his artwork in the background of a scene from the network series “Vinyl.” The show centers on the 1970s … Continue reading