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Copyright Law Archives

Songwriters file lawsuit against the Department of Justice

What would the music world be like without talented songwriters and composers? In many ways they are the foundation of the industry. But recent actions by the Department of Justice have put songwriters and composer at a disadvantage - particularly when it comes to their copyright and intellectual property rights.

Is the U.S. Copyright Office biased toward a for-profit industry?

The U.S. Copyright Office exists as an office of public record for copyright registrations and related material. As an entity of the federal government and division of the Library of Congress, it is intended to be neutral in its dealings regarding registrations, infringements and policy.

Getty Images facing two copyright violation lawsuits

Photo-licensing giant Getty Images is not usually on the receiving end of copyright infringement lawsuits. Getty is usually the one ruthlessly pursuing compensation for unlawful use of images in its collection. In a matter of weeks, however, the company found itself served with two separate suits. 

In court, Led Zeppelin's Page denies stealing 'Stairway' riff

About a month ago, we discussed the copyright infringement lawsuit against Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. In an update, the trial is now underway, with Page, Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist until the band broke up in 1981, testifying that he was unaware of the song from which he is accused of stealing the opening riff of “Stairway to Heaven” when he and Plant wrote their song.

Fair use or copyright infringement?

You quote a few lines from a Prince song in a newsletter you’re preparing for work. Your daughter copies a few sentences from a magazine article into her social studies homework assignment. Your wife records her favorite television show to watch later in the week with a group of her girlfriends.

Madonna, Warner Bros win copyright suit over 'Vogue' sample

Sampling other songs is common in pop music, but if you do not get the proper license to use someone else’s copyrighted work, you could find yourself in court. However, while getting permission is generally easier, it is possible to avoid losing in court in certain cases.

Should I register my copyright for my software?

A piece of software may not be as emotionally affecting as a novel, painting or song, but it is also an original work that is entitled to copyright protection under federal law. With the commercial possibilities that new software might present, making sure that its author is the only one who can lay claim to it is very important.

Art and copyright law

Even after an artist in California sells a painting or sculpture to someone else, the artist still owns the rights to images of the work of art. In other words, no one but the artist who made the art may publish a photo of it. However, artists can give away or sell permission to publish images of their art for commercial or noncommercial uses.

Justin Timberlake sued for copyright infringement

Music lovers in California likely associate 'A New Day is Here at Last" with the performer J.C. Davis, but they may soon find it difficult to not think of Justin Timberlake when they hear the jazz tune played on the radio. The instrumental was written by Perry Kibble in 1969, and the music publishing company that currently holds the copyright to it has accused Timberlake and former Black Eyed Peas member Will Adams of using parts of 'A New Day is Here at Last" without permission.

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