The saga over the legality of the Google Books project finally came to an end on April 18, 2016, when the Supreme Court of the US refused to intervene in the case over alleged copyright infringement for scanning millions of books and making them searchable online. This was a final blow to authors’ representatives who…

The federal district court in Los Angeles did not err in determining that 2012 motion picture “Trouble with the Curve” was not substantially similar to a screenplay written by Ryan A. Brooks to support a finding of copyright infringement, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (Gold Glove Productions, LLC v. Handfield,…

The federal district court in Manhattan properly awarded over $250,000 in attorney fees and costs to hip-hop star Jay Z (aka Shawn Carter) and his companies, Roc Nation and Roc-A-Fella Records, for their successful defense against time-barred claims brought by sound engineer Chauncey Mahan, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City has held….

A 2001 letter from an attorney representing the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel effectively transferred all copyrights in the Superman character to DC Comics, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has decided (Larson v. Warner Bros Entertainment, February 10, 2016, per curiam). Siegel’s daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, could not go forward with…

A copyright claim brought by hip-hop artist Tyrone Simmons—who purchased an exclusive license to use a beat known as the “I Get Money Instrumental”—against the beat’s creator (William Stanberry, Jr.) and a group of defendants associated with rapper Curtis Jackson, known professionally as “50 Cent,” who used the beat in a hit song, was time-barred…

Recordings used by defendants Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (collectively, Blizzard) of a former employee’s voice for a character in a video game constituted a “work made for hire” under the Copyright Act, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., December 18, 2015, per curiam)….

The assignee of the rights to a screenplay by actress and author Emma Thompson about the life of historical figure Euphemia Gray (Effie Film, LLC) should not have been granted an award of nearly $500,000 in attorney fees and costs that it incurred in successfully seeking a declaratory judgment that its screenplay did not infringe…

The Batmobile, as it appeared in the Batman comic books, television series, and motion picture, was entitled to copyright protection because, as an “automotive character,” it was a sufficiently distinctive element of those works, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has held (DC Comics v. Towle, September 23, 2015, Ikuta, S.). The Ninth…

Robert Snow, author of the 2012 book Slaughter on North LaSalle, did not infringe Carol Sissom’s copyright in her 2006 book The LaSalle Street Murders, because none of the material that Sissom alleged was taken from her book was protectable material under the Copyright Act, but merely restated historical events, the U.S. Court of Appeals…

The bizarre saga known as Garcia v. Google has finally come to end with an eleven judge en banc decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Garcia v. Google, Inc., 786 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015)). That holding came in response to a remarkable, if not astonishing holding by a…