Folkens (left) vs. Wyland (right)
By Yonah Reback
The intersection of copyright law and the animal kingdom reached new heights during the global phenomenon of Naruto v. Slater. When wildlife photographer David Slater traveled to the jungles of Indonesia in 2011, he surely expected to take snapshots of its native inhabitants. To Slater’s surprise, a macaque nicknamed Naruto grabbed his camera and took what soon became the infamous “monkey selfie.” Thus began a six-year legal saga as to whether Naruto or Slater owned the copyright for the photograph. Although the U.S. Copyright Office indicated that there was no basis for extending copyright ownership to animals, the case—filed by PETA in defense of the monkey—ultimately settled, leaving the public wanting for legal analysis of the issue.
By CaroLea Casas
We are in the midst of a cryptocurrency frenzy. A series of memes has taken over the internet in recent months—all about Bitcoin. Some economists have considered whether the cryptocurrency market is a harbinger of yet another devastating economic debt bubble. In a comment to Fortune, Meltem Demirors, the director of Digital Currency Group, explained the widespread interest simply: “We are going through the biggest wealth generation opportunity of the century, and people want to participate.”
Demirors’ comment rings true. From the businesses rebranding to offer coin, to the investors looking for legitimate opportunities to get in on the ground level, to the federal agencies ensuring compliance with securities law, everyone seems to have an interest. And of those rebranding companies, one sits right at the crossover between technology and art. That company is Eastman Kodak. Read More
By: Adam Roberts
Popular music streaming service Spotify has agreed to pay $43.45 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a collection of songwriters and music copyright holders. The class plaintiffs allege that Spotify unlawfully distributed their music to consumers without paying what are known as ‘mechanical royalties.’ Mechanical royalties are the payments made to a songwriter which gives one the legal right to reproduce a piece of music. Under Section 115 of the Copyright Act, services like Spotify must pay mechanical royalties for all songs streamed on their web service. Although the class action has reached a proposed resolution, there may still be legal issues in seeking court approval of the settlement. Read More
By Alex Bullock
If you ever find yourself at the grocery store with only your designer handbag to put your apples in, know that the option to carry a canvas tote bag with designer style won’t be going away anytime soon.
That’s because My Other Bag (“MOB”) sells utilitarian canvas tote bags featuring images of designer-brand handbags on their sides—which play on the belief that “my bag is a [fill in luxury brand here].” In June 2014, Louis Vuitton (“LV”), one of the world’s most valuable and well-known luxury fashion brands, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York Read More
By Dan Goodman
As the late Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” Whether you believe that statement or not, it is certainly, and thankfully, becoming less true the world of monetizing videos on YouTube through fair use.
The issue of fair use in regard to Content ID claims and Digital Millennial Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notices continues to be a hot topic in the world of YouTube. Most recently demonstrated in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., the Ninth Circuit held that copyright holders must consider fair use and have a subjective belief that the material in use was in violation of copyright law before sending a takedown notice.