Would-be filmmakers often see the ghostly reflection of their own work in allegedly infringing films that actually get made. With many such copyright claims, the devil is – figuratively – in the details, but in the recent case of Brown v. Twentieth Century Fox, the satanic details were quite literal.
Monthly Archives: October 2015
When are clothing designs sufficiently severable from the utilitarian aspects of the clothing so that the designs can be protected by copyright? That is a question courts have wrestled with for years, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals answered in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica LLC, a case involving a long-running dispute between Varsity Brands, a company which designs, manufactures and sells cheerleading apparel,… More
Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or disturbing,” as was the case in Commonwealth v. Walters, is insufficient to support a conviction.
In 2006, Michael Walters and his girlfriend bought a house together in Seekonk,… More
In a squabble between two psychologists over rights to books about “explosive” children, the First Circuit weighed in this summer with an opinion holding that a work of authorship under the Copyright Act can be simultaneously both a “joint work” and a “derivative work.” The case is Greene v. Ablon, 794 F.3d 133 (1st Cir. 2015).
The plaintiff, Dr. Ross Greene,… More