Copyright’s underuse hypothesis is simple: that, unless publishers are assured of exclusive rights in older works, they won’t continue to invest in making them available. This of course contradicts a core tenet of classical economic theory, that investors will continue to produce copies of books (or anything else) so long as they can expect to…

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…

Whether the parties to an agreement had intended to transfer the copyrights as part of its overall transfer of intellectual property was a question of material fact that should not have been decided by the court on summary judgment. An agreement between two affiliated companies did not unambiguously prohibit the transfer of copyrights as part…

Exceptions to hearsay rule did not apply to songwriters’ evidence of copying against members of rock band who allegedly copied the songwriters’ bass riff when creating the band’s own song. Two songwriters who authored the song “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” failed to provide admissible evidence of direct copying or substantial similarity to survive…

On remand, the district court must apply the Fogerty factors in determining whether the photographer is entitled to an attorney fee award. Given its determination that a media company committed copyright infringement by posting a copyrighted photograph of singer Willie Nelson on a radio station website without including the required Creative Commons attributions, the federal…

The statutory schemes of Italian and U.S. copyright law differ in their allocation of authorship status in that Italian law does not recognize the ab initio statutory allocation of copyright to the commissioner of a work made for hire. The assignment to a music publisher of composer Ennio Morricone’s copyrights in six Italian movie scores…

Dismissal on claim preclusion grounds of suit brought by Media Rights Technologies, Inc., mostly affirmed, but reversed as to products that Microsoft sold after the date when MRT filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft involving the same set of operative facts, which had been dismissed. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has…

A preliminary injunction against a competitor was upheld in light of costume maker Rasta Imposta’s likelihood of success on the merits of its copyright infringement suit. Costume supplier Silvertop Associates, Inc., doing business as Rasta Imposta, was entitled to a preliminary injunction stopping competitor Kangaroo Manufacturing from selling a “knock-off” full-body banana costume because Rasta…

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 clothing company that knowingly included inaccurate information in its copyright application—which rendered its registration invalid—was ordered to pay $121,423 in costs and attorney fees to retail outlets that successfully defended themselves against infringement claims. In a copyright infringement action brought by clothing company Gold Value International Textile, Inc,. alleging infringement of its fabric design…