California Intellectual Property Blog

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DONALD TRUMP JR. TWEETS A SKITTLES COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on October 6, 2016

candy-skittlesOrange County – Donald Trump Jr., son of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, recently posted a controversial Tweet. The image is a white bowl full of rainbow-colored Skittles. The text in the photo says, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Trump added his own text with the photo that reads: “This image says it all. Read the rest

FATHER SUES FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AFTER LIVE-STREAMING BABY’S BIRTH

By Joseph Mandour on September 29, 2016

baby-toesSan Diego – It seems each day more people are willing to share ever more personal things on the Internet. Along these lines, in May of this year Kali Kanongataa a California resident used Facebook to live stream his wife giving birth. After portions the live stream ended up on television and publicized on the Internet, he sued ABC and Yahoo for allegedly infringing his copyright by displaying the video.

The day after the live stream, ABC’s “Good Morning America” ran a short segment about the live stream and showed a brief excerpt from the video that was up loaded by Mr. Kanogataa which had been widely viewed online since this airing. The clip also appeared Read the rest

#GRUMPYCAT SUES GRENADE BEVERAGE FOR #COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on September 9, 2016

cat-lickingLos Angeles – The owners of internet sensation “Grumpy Cat” filed a lawsuit against coffee maker Grenade Beverage. The lawsuit claims that Grenade exceeded the bounds of a 2013 license agreement when it made Grumpy Cat Roasted Coffee and Grumppuccino branded t-shirts. The license only specifically provided for use of the famous cat name for its Grumppuccino iced drink.

The lawsuit also claims that Grenade did not give Grumpy Cat LLC a percentage of the Grumppuccino profits or provide sales and profit numbers, as was required in the license.

Grumpy Cat became popular in 2012 after her now-famous photo was posted online. The cat was born in 2012 an Read the rest

STATUTORY COPYRIGHT DAMAGES NOT AVAILABLE IN LEBRON JAMES TATTOO LAWSUIT

By Joseph Mandour on August 18, 2016

tattooSan Diego – Tattoo artists seeking damages over the use of NBA player tattoos in a video game, were dealt a blow recently when a federal judge dismissed the claim for statutory damages. The tattoo artist company Solid Oak Sketches designed tattoos for several NBA stars and registered the copyright for eight of them in 2015. These tattoos were implemented into player design in video games created by 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, beginning in 2013 with its game NBA 2K14.

Solid Oak Sketches filed a copyright lawsuit in February 2016, claiming unauthorized use of the tattoos in the game’s design and advertising. The lawsuit sought actual damages, attorn Read the rest

#LEDZEPPELIN’S #STAIRWAYTOHEAVEN IS NOT A #COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on June 27, 2016

stairwayLos Angeles – The ongoing saga of the case of copyright infringement between Led Zeppelin and the trust of Randy Wolfe has finally ended, with the jury finding that Led Zeppelin did not commit copyright infringement. After members of the band Jimmy Page and Robert Plant testified, a federal court jury decided that they did not steal part of “Taurus” when writing “Stairway to Heaven.”

“Taurus” is a song written by Wolfe wh Read the rest

#AXLROSE CLAIMS #COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN TRYING TO REMOVE UNFLATTERING PHOTOS

By Joseph Mandour on June 9, 2016

pieOrange County – Axl Rose, the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, is demanding that Google take down several unflattering images of him that have been used as part of an Internet meme mocking his physical appearance and weight. In 2010, a Winnipeg Free Press photographer covered a Guns N’ Roses concert, taking photos of Axl Rose. The images ran with the newspaper’s review of the concert. The photos were then seen and used by Gauntlet, a heavy metal news site, which republished the photos under Read the rest

JUSTIN #BIEBER AND #SKRILLEX SUED FOR #COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on June 3, 2016

music-sheetLos Angeles – Justin Bieber and Skrillex are fighting back against copyright infringement claims related to their multi-platinum song “Sorry.” A suit filed in Nashville federal court by singer-songwriter Casey Dienel, who performs as White Hinterland, claims that “Sorry” uses a vocal riff from her song “Ring the Bell,” which was released on her album “Baby” in 2014.

The sound in question is a female vocal riff which is sampled and processed electronically to sound more like an instrument, and the two samples do sound remarkably similar, although Hinterland’s riff consists of four notes to Bieber’s five. However, in response to the charges, Read the rest

#LEDZEPPELIN #COPYRIGHT CASE OVER “#STAIRWAYTOHEAVEN” HEADS TO TRIAL

By Joseph Mandour on April 18, 2016

stairwaySan Diego – A copyright lawsuit filed by a band called Spirit against Led Zeppelin over its iconic song Stairway to Heaven will now go to trial. The trial’s focus is whether the introduction from Stairway to Heaven copied the chord sequence of Spirit’s song called “Taurus.”

The surviving members of Spirit claim they performed at festivals with Led Zeppelin, which provided the band opportunity to hear, and then later borrow from, their song “Tauru Read the rest

TRUMP CAMPAIGN SUED FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT FOR USING BALD EAGLE PHOTO

By Joseph Mandour on March 30, 2016

voteOrange County – Wildlife photographers Wendy Shattil and Robert Rozinski are suing Donald Trump’s campaign for copyright infringement, after one of their photos was found on merchandise for the GOP candidate. The Denver-based photographers claim their photo “Bald Eagle Portrait” has appeared on Trump campaign materials without their permission. Rozinski photographed the once-endangered bird in 1980 and after r Read the rest

#CARDIFFKOOK SURFER STATUE IS CENTER OF #COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT

By Joseph Mandour on February 12, 2016

waveSan Diego – The Cardiff Kook statute proudly stands near one of the most popular surf breaks in San Diego, California, where over the years it has become most famous for being the target for a variety of pranks which usually take the form of the statue being dressed in unique outfits. It addition to this ridicule, it is now the focus of a lawsuit.

The image copyright of the statue belongs to Cardiff 101 Main Street, a non-profit organization working to promote the Cardiff by the Sea community. The organization obtained the copyright when the statue’s creator, Matthew Antichevich, transferred the copyright over to it when the statue was built in 2007.

In the lawsu Read the rest

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