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The hotly disputed legal issue between the majority and dissent in the recent, highly-publicized “Blurred Lines” decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Williams v. Gaye, 15-56880, concerned whether Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit song “Got to Give it Up” was entitled to “broad” or “thin” copyright protection. The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision over a vigorous dissent, upheld the jury’s determination that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke’s worldwide No. 1 2013 hit song “Blurred Lines” infringed Gaye’s work. Williams and Thicke are asking the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case en banc.
By Bruce Goldner
The law on how to perfect a lien in a copyright application is foggy at best. This article sketches out pitfalls of the current process for perfecting a lien on a copyright application, and potential steps that a financier may take to help perfect and protect a film investment.
By Stan Soocher
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided that §504 of the U.S. Copyright Act doesn’t require any “magic words incantation” for a copyright infringement plaintiff to choose a statutory damages award, that “[t]he word ‘elect’ does not by itself require formal procedures.”
A federal judge in Camden, NJ decided that a Christian rock band’s management, talent agent and lead singer weren’t vicariously liable for the sexual assault of a teenage fan committed by a member of the band.
By R. Robin McDonald
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected an appeal by CNN to dismiss a libel case over the cable network’s 2015 investigation of infant deaths at a Florida hospital.