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…

Like the very similar Patent Remedy Act previously invalidated by the Court, the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act failed to abrogate States’ sovereign immunity. Congress lacked the authority to abrogate the States’ immunity from copyright infringement suits through enactment of the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA), a unanimous Supreme Court has held. Writing on…

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…

Hospital infringed on credentialing service’s copyright by using forms, but the infringement began when the forms were not yet registered. A medical credentialing support service is barred from recovering statutory damages and attorney’s fees for a hospital’s use of its credentialing forms after their relationship ended, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit…

Factual questions precluded deciding novel legal issues regarding the scope of MMA’s preemption of state-law infringement claims involving pre-1972 sound recordings and whether Pandora qualified for the preemption defense. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has returned a case to the federal district court in Los Angeles to consider in the first instance…

Relying on obviously insufficient oversight mechanisms for discovering copyright infringement can constitute willful infringement. A California district court erred when it reduced a $460,800 jury verdict by $109,700 for lack of proof of willful infringement in a copyright infringement suit by Greg Young Publishing, Inc., against online marketplace Zazzle because recklessness can constitute willful infringement,…