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…

The paintings, although temporary, had achieved “recognized stature” as artworks and were protected by the Visual Artists Rights Act. Artists who created “aerosol art” paintings on the exteriors of buildings in the well-known “5Pointz” area of Long Island City, New York, with the consent of the buildings’ owners, were properly granted $6.75 million in statutory…

The question of whether the plaintiffs’ allegedly infringed lyrics were sufficiently original to be copyright-able was a fact-intensive issue that should not have been determined on the pleadings. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has revived a copyright infringement lawsuit against pop star Taylor Swift and others over song lyrics allegedly copied and…

Protected elements of illustrated children’s book were not substantially similar to defendants’ book and animated adaptation as a matter of law. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has affirmed a district court’s decision holding that an author of a children’s illustrated book failed to state a copyright infringement claim against media company Viacom International,…

A defendant need not obtain a favorable judgment on the merits in order to be a “prevailing party” under the fee-shifting provisions of the Copyright Act and Lanham Act. Case date: 25 March 2019 Case number: No. 17-4046 Court: United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit A full summary of this case has been published on…

The resale of copyrighted digital sound recordings through a web-based “virtual” marketplace for “pre-owned” digital music operated by ReDigi Inc. was not protected from copyright infringement claims by the first sale doctrine codified in Section 109 of the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City has held. The Second Circuit affirmed…