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Federal courts have long disagreed over whether the unauthorized “making available” of a plaintiff’s works to the public is sufficient to constitute copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §106(3). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds the view that actual distribution of the works is required. See, e.g., Perfect 10 Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., 487 F.3d 701 (9th Cir. 2007). The Fourth Circuit, on the other hand, has taken the position that for purposes of an infringement analysis, a library, for example, distributes a work when it “holds a copy in its collection, lists the copy in its card file, and makes the copy available to the public.” Hotaling v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 118 F.3d 199 (4th Cir. 1997).
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By Stan Soocher
The significance of the U.S. Tax Court decision for celebrities and their estates is clear: Prior to now, as Tax Court Judge Mark V. Holmes noted: “We haven’t had a case directly addressing the taxability of the image and likeness.”
By Scott Graham
Maybe the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit should have been a little more patient.
By Jason Grant
In a split decision that closely examined what constitutes a person being considered a limited public figure for the purposes of defamation standards, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, ruled that acclaimed music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald is neither a general nor a limited public figure for the purposes of his defamation suit against famed singer Kesha, who has claimed Gottwald drugged and sexually assaulted her.
By Ross Todd
When NBA star Jimmy Butler’s former sports agency sued him last year seeking a portion of the proceeds from a $5 million Nike endorsement contract, Butler’s lawyer didn’t just stick to playing defense.