A builder of sunrooms allegedly adapted the brochure for online use without permission, but the designer’s application with the Copyright Office was still pending when she filed suit. A graphic designer’s copyright infringement claim against a builder of sunroom additions—which allegedly modified and used online a print brochure that she had designed for the builder—was…

Second Circuit reverses district court’s fair use declaration granted to Andy Warhol Foundation; artist’s works were not “transformative” and could harm the photographer’s market for licensing her image. Screenprints depicting the late pop star Prince, made by the late artist Andy Warhol in 1984, did not make transformative use of photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s portrait of…

An eight-second piece of the song “Fish Sticks n’ Tater Tots” was transformative and reasonably related to the documentary’s purpose of commenting on the resurgence of burlesque dancing. A documentary film’s incorporation of an eight-second excerpt of the children’s song “Fish Sticks n’ Tater Tots” was a noninfringing fair use, the U.S. Court of Appeals…

An illustrated book titled “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!” did not make transformative use of Dr. Seuss’s copyrighted pictures and stories, although Lanham Act claims were properly dismissed under the Rogers test. In a closely watched copyright and trademark dispute over a “mash-up” book imitating and combining features of the works of author/illustrator Dr. Seuss and…

Because the copyright owner had held the book out as nonfiction, the “asserted truths” doctrine precluded the owner from later claiming copyright protection for facts contained in it. The members of the pop music quartet The Four Seasons and the producers of the hit musical “Jersey Boys” were entitled to post-verdict judgment as a matter…

Although the time limit for the claim that Phil Everly was a co-author would begin running when Phil’s authorship was repudiated by Don Everly, factual issues precluded summary judgment on the issue. A claim brought by the estate and children of deceased pop musician Phil Everly—one of the famous Everly Brothers—asserting that Phil was a…

Although the claims failed, the district court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting the defendants’ request for a fee award because the plaintiff’s positions were not objectively unreasonable. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has affirmed district court orders granting summary judgment in favor of a swimming pool builder and remodeler that…

Infringement claims based on failure to obtain licenses for three other songs failed because the plaintiff licensing company did not hold exclusive rights in those works. The vocal music director of Burbank High School and other defendants associated with the school’s student choir program engaged in fair use by adapting, altering, and performing segments of…

Jury instructions not erroneous or prejudicial to plaintiff; court dumps “inverse ratio rule” providing for lower standard of proof of substantial similarity when a high degree of access is shown. After an en banc rehearing, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has affirmed a district court’s judgment after a jury trial in favor…

Because hard drives used in audio recording devices in cars sold by Ford, GM, and Chrysler did not contain “only sounds,” they were not covered by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC)—a nonprofit organization formed to collect and distribute royalties under the Audio Home Recording Act…