California Intellectual Property Blog

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MONKEY LOSES COPYRIGHT CASE OVER SELFIE

By Joseph Mandour on January 15, 2016

monkeyLos Angeles – Naruto, the famous macaque monkey behind the monkey selfie, just lost a court case. The not-for-profit organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) filed the lawsuit back in September on behalf of Naruto and the other macaques living on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on a reserve.

Good Morning to You Productions is a company owned by independent documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson. She was working on a documentary about the song’s history when Warner/Chappell Music charged her $1,500 to use the song. Nelson argued the song should no Read the rest

WARNER MUSIC “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT HEATING UP

By Joseph Mandour on August 7, 2015

birthdayLos Angeles – The copyright struggle over the rights to the most recognized song in the English language is back making news again. Good Morning to You Productions Corp. is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Warner Music Group which seeks declaratory relief that the song “Happy Birthday” is in the public domain. Last week the parties were back in court fighting plaintiffs’ request for a judgment which claims that a copyright for the song may never have been valid in the first place.

Warner Music Group has owned the rights to the song since 1988. Reportedly, Warner receives Read the rest

RAND PAUL’S VIDEO REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on April 10, 2015

voteSan Diego – Rand Paul recently announced his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential Campaign. In doing so he followed in the footsteps of many other White House-hopefuls by using media outlets such as YouTube to draw attention to his campaign.

Paul’s YouTube channel released a video to announce his candidacy. Unfortunately, he received a Digital Mill Read the rest

SETH MCFARLANE SUED OVER ALLEGED “TED” COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on March 26, 2015

Teddy bearLos Angeles – Seth McFarlane is known for his crude humor and most notably as the creator of Family Guy. In 2012, McFarlane took his unfiltered creativity to the big screen with the movie premiere of “Ted.” The movie portrayed a vulgar teddy bear (“Ted”) and his life and relationships in the human world. Ted is not your typical teddy bear as he enjoys the wilder side of life by drinking, smoking, and partying. Since its release, “Ted” the movie has become a worldwide blockbuster netting around $550 million.

In July of last year, Bengal Mangle Productions sued McFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Read the rest

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT COSTS ROBIN THICKE AND PHARRELL WILLIAMS $7 MILLION

By Joseph Mandour on March 12, 2015

music-sheetLos Angeles – Robin Thicke’s biggest hit song to date has now cost him and co-writer Pharrell Williams over $7 million. The children of 70’s musician Marvin Gaye noticed similarities between their father’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up” and Thicke’s 2013 release of “Blurred Lines.”

Fans of both Thicke and Gaye also noticed similarities, as well as reviewers and other listeners. This Youtube sample attempts to show the likeness of the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziz9HW2ZmmY

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that there were overwhelming similarities between the two Read the rest

WHO OWNS THE COPYRIGHT TO LEFT SHARK?

By Joseph Mandour on February 13, 2015

sharkSan Diego – Katy Perry’s half-time routine at the Super Bowl has continued to be in the spotlight weeks after the show aired. Her performance and vocals are not the sole cause. Instead it is her fascinating backup dancers.

The “Left Shark” in Perry’s beach themed show has become popular as the dancing shark didn’t appear to know what it was doing. The awkward shark has gone viral as a result and both the left and right sharks have appeared on talk shows and are becoming celebrities.

Replica figurines and clothing portraying the “Left Shark” have been sold online by a number of vendors, mos Read the rest

FOX CLAIMS THAT DISH NETWORK’S AD SKIPPING IS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on January 31, 2015

satellite-dishLos Angeles – Prime features of any cable DVR is the ability to pause live television and fast forward through commercials. In addition to this, several DVR makers are offering their customers the ability to automatically skip over commercials.

Dish Network’s “Hopper” Package allows customers the chance to not only skip commercials and record an entire evening of shows, but also to access recorded programs from anywhere on their portable devices. Fox thinks that such features go too far and thus sought to limit these features in a copyright infringement claim against Dish.

< Read the rest

SONY’S MOVIE THE INTERVIEW MAY ALSO BE A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

By Joseph Mandour on January 8, 2015

sonyLos Angeles – Sony Corporation’s movie release of “The Interview” has not exactly enjoyed smooth sailing. The movie’s Christmas Day debut was shown in only 300 theaters nation-wide after terrorist threats and a system cyber-hack emerged regarding the controversial plot.

“The Interview” has been under the spotlight as it negatively depicts North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and some of the country’s domestic policies. President Barack Obama even got involved in the debate when he suggested that Sony should still release the movie amid all the chaos.

However, threats and limited access have not s Read the rest

JUDGE RULES “BLURRED LINES” BEARS COPYRIGHT SIMILARITIES TO MARVIN GAYE’S SONG

By Joseph Mandour on November 13, 2014

concert-2Los Angeles – Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have lost the first round of their court battle over copyright infringement with Marvin Gaye’s family. Judge John Kronstadt denied Thicke’s and Williams’s motion for summary judgment ruling that there are similarities between “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and that those similarities are enough for the case to be sent to trial.

The judge wrote in his decision that lawyers for the Gaye family have shown sufficient proof that certain elements of “Blurred Lines” may be “substan Read the rest

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