Automated Notices for Copyright Infringement: Pitfalls and Remedies

Background of Notice and Takedown Since the birth of the internet, online service providers (OSPs) have butted heads with copyright holders over whether OSPs should be responsible for copyright-infringing material posted by their users. Should Google be liable for infringement when it provides links to websites that post photographs without a copyright license?[1] Should YouTube owe damages for hosting a video that plays a song or shows a clip from a movie protected by copyright?[2] Continue Reading →

Internet Piracy: The Effects of Streaming Services and the Digital Marketplace

Internet piracy was thought to be an unstoppable blight on the digital market as recently as five years ago. As quickly as music, movie, and video game companies could shut down pirates and pirate sites, new ones would appear. The notorious Pirate Bay website, for example, is practically indestructible, having survived being forcibly taken down almost a dozen times. Entertainment and software companies began to prophesize the end of their industries due to lost profits Continue Reading →

The Next Rembrandt: Originality and Authorship of AI Generated Works

In recent years, the news has been flooded by innovations in artificial intelligence and its ability to create a diverse range of creative content. AI has produced music, poetry, paintings, and even sci-fi films. Some of the poetry is so “real” that it has even fooled humans into believing that it was generated by a human writer. As the list of creative works continues to grow, so does the elephant in the room: who owns Continue Reading →

Exclusive Rights in Vague Terms – Vantablack in the Arts

Background In the summer of 2014, British company Surrey NanoSystems (“SNS”) announced that it had created a new substance out of carbon nanotubes that would absorb up to 99.96% of light.[1] It is created by growing nanotubes on a surface heated to over 430 degrees Celsius, and is currently only produced by SNS. Intended for military and scientific use, Vantablack could increase stealth capacity and significantly decrease reflective interference in telescopes.   Exclusive License and Continue Reading →

Market Solutions to IP Law Confusion

The somewhat “unsettled” nature of certain aspects of intellectual property law is unsurprising. By definition, the discipline considers the new, the novel, the original, etc. Though the patent world seemed to struggle for a time when it came to computer-related inventions, it was no coincidence that the Copyright Act of 1976 explicitly anticipated “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed…”[1] In recent years, however, prolonged periods Continue Reading →

Does Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Affect Copyright Owners §512 Takedown Procedures?

In Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107, U.S. App. LEXIS 16308 (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit dealt with an issue of first impression, whether fair use is an “authorization under the law” as contemplated by 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)(v). Lenz U.S. App. LEXIS 16308 at 12; Limitations on Liability Relating to Material Online, 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)(v) (2015). The court held that §512(c)(3)(A)(v) does require the copyright holders to consider fair use before sending Continue Reading →

WikiLeaks Reveals the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Expansion of International Copyright Law

WikiLeaks Publishes TPP IP Chapter As the Trans-Pacific Partnership or “TPP” moves closer to becoming a reality , leaked documents of the international trade agreement published by WikiLeaks have sparked concerns that the treaty’s re-envisioning of intellectual property rights could prove detrimental to citizens of signatory nations. The latest version of TPP’s intellectual property chapter, hosted on WikiLeaks servers,[1] details a series of sweeping modifications to the international status quo in regards to copyrights as well as Continue Reading →

Virtual Reality Meets Body Ink

The video game industry has swelled into a $20 billion market in the United States alone.[1] With industry growth, game developers continue to push the limits of digital graphics, inching closer every year to on-screen renderings that bear an uncanny resemblance to the real world.[2] This collision course into the uncanny valley, however, may have hit its first of many unexpected obstacles: the also-surging tattoo industry.[3] Sports games are the third-most popular video game genre Continue Reading →

Will Petrella Apply Beyond Copyright?

For those who concern themselves with remedies, the case law concerning the equitable defense of laches was, until recently, rather somnolent. Two wake-up calls, one loud, the other muted to near silence, have changed largely settled expectations and produced questions about the relationship between laches and federal statutes of limitation. In particular, it is now clear from that laches does not, except in “extraordinary circumstances,” bar actions for damages that are instituted within the three-year statute Continue Reading →

Starbucks Not So “Dumb” After All

Last weekend in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, it appeared that coffee mogul Starbucks opened a new franchise. However, this new store proudly named itself “Dumb Starbucks,” and every menu item was preceded by the word “dumb.” Patrons could order Dumb Honey Blonde roast coffee or Dumb Chai Lattes, to name a few, in size Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande, or Dumb Venti. Oddly enough, Starbucks has decided not to go after the perpetrator of this stunt, Continue Reading →