Monthly Archives: May 2012

Access Denied: Canadian Academics Debate Controversial Copyright Licensing Deal

In 2006, square-jawed super hero Captain Copyright arrived in Canada, vowing “to protect the rights of artists, writers, musicians, photographers, filmmakers . . . and everyone in between.”

Captain Copyright was the brainchild of Access Copyright, a Canadian non-profit organization that serves as a licensing conduit between the authors of copyrighted materials and those who use that material in education, business and government.… More

The Devil’s in the Details: Dissecting the 350-Page Georgia State University Electronic Reserve Copyright Ruling

gsuOn May 11, 2012, we learned what it sounds like when all the college professors and university librarians in the country breathe a collective sigh of relief. Judge Orinda Evans of the Federal District Court for Northern Georgia issued a whopping 350-page opinion which, for the most part, vindicated Georgia State University’s fair use defense in the closely-watched copyright infringement case brought by a coalition of publishers (Oxford University Press,… More

Spring Cleaning: FTC Announces Settlement with Oreck Corporation Regarding Vacuum Cleaner and Air Purifier Claims

The Federal Trade Commission has been busy. On the heels of its $40 million settlement with Skechers, one of the largest of its kind, the Commission yesterday announced that it has settled with Oreck Corporation regarding allegedly unsubstantiated claims that the company made regarding its Halo vacuum cleaner and ProShield Plus portable air purifier. Oreck has agreed to pay $750,000, which will be disbursed to affected consumers via $25 refund checks,… More

Shape-up or Ship-out: FTC Sends Tough Message to Marketers of Toning Shoes But Fails to Clarify Murky Standard

After much hype on Twitter regarding an action against a “major marketer of consumer goods,” the Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has settled with Skechers USA, Inc. over allegedly deceptive claims that the company made concerning its Shape-ups and other “toning shoes.” The settlement was part of a broader agreement resolving a multi-state investigation led by Attorneys General in Ohio and Tennessee and comes roughly eight months after a similar FTC action against Reebok.… More

Copyright Claims Dismissed Against Facebook Movie and Book: Unoriginal Expression And Fragmentary Phrases Not Protected

Software entrepreneur Aaron Greenspan claims not only to have been the original inventor of Facebook. He also claims to have been the original author of the story of Facebook, via his memoire, Authoritas: One Student’s Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era.

However, yesterday Massachusetts Federal Magistrate Judge Robert Collings found that these claims were not sufficient to sustain a copyright lawsuit against Benjamin Mezrich,… More

Rest In Peace, Perfect10 v. Google: Epic Soft-Porn Copyright Struggle Finally Dismissed

The firmament of copyright blog topics just got a little dimmer, and a lot better clothed. Last month, after eleven years, three Ninth Circuit opinions and 1,212 docket entries in the trial court, soft-porn multimedia company Perfect10, Inc. stipulated to the dismissal of its copyright infringement claims against Google (and others) in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

As blogged about here previously,… More

Celebrity Trademark Watch: Marilyn, Elvis and Michael Teach Us How to Beat the High Cost of Dying

Marilyn Monroe was perhaps the more clever of Hollywood’s famous dumb blondes. While doubtless no rocket scientist, she nonetheless continues to exploit her carefully honed image to great effect even today. However, 1940’s screen siren Hedy Lamarr, herself a rare beauty, may have been the vixen with the truly beautiful mind. Indeed, she had the intellectual property to back it up — in 1942, several months after the U.S.… More

Bear and Copyright Contract Fall Through the Cracks: Who Owns Student Art Work?

In the early 1990’s, when I was applying to film schools, I recall that different schools had different policies regarding the copyright ownership of student work. Copyright in any work, of course, is owned by the author in the first instance. However, many colleges and universities have policies (and in some cases contracts) that purport to alter that basic ownership principle, by requiring that students assign some or all of their rights to the school.… More