There was much harmony along with a few discordant notes as an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took up the copyright case involving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
Michael W. Mitchell and Edward Roche
The decision in Brammer v. Violent Hues sheds some light on when re-posting will be a “fair use” and when it will give rise to liability.
Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that a series of silkscreen paintings and prints by Andy Warhol based on a photograph of music legend Prince taken by Lynn Goldsmith constituted a transformative fair use.
In a nearly half-century-long legal dispute over the rights to John Steinbeck’s works, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court‘s $5 million compensatory damages award against the author’s daughter-in-law but vacated punitive damages against the heir.
David S. Gold
Branding is not a new concept, nor are the various intellectual property laws that protect brands. What is new to most is how this burgeoning industry can take advantage of those laws within the context of state and federal restrictions.
That U.S. copyright-assignment termination issues are among the most complex in the copyright field becomes even more apparent when attempts to reclaim copyrights involve aspects of international law. Few courts have ruled, however, on the impact of international law on U.S. copyright-assignment terminations. The most recent to do so is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Ennio Morricone Music Inc. v. Bixio Music Group Ltd.
Karen Hoffman Lent and Kenneth Schwartz
In June, the DOJ announced its plans to review the two music-licensing antitrust consent decrees that have been in place, in some shape or form, for almost 80 years. Due to this newly initiated review, the competitive mechanisms that dictate how music is broadcast, streamed or played live could drastically change.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit tossed out an injunction against sales of a book by Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill II even after finding that the work infringed on a manuscript copyright owned by TD Bank.
Two recent circuit court cases clarified copyright infringement of photographs on the Internet. Both cases serve as cautionary tales for those who takes photographs for their websites from the Internet without investigating copyright rights.
Howard Shire and Christine Weller
Mercedes Benz USA LLC v. Bombardier