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Copyright Law Archives

Apparently monkeys can't copyright their pictures

When posed with the question of whether monkeys can copyright their self-portraits, the United States Copyright Office has finally spoken out, and the answer is a resounding "no." The Copyright Office's latest manual edition – the first major update in more than 30 years – unequivocally states that only humans can obtain copyrights. Specifically, the manual says that the Office "will not register works produced by nature, animals or plants." That simple statement lets the wind out of the sails for what could have been a burgeoning, niche intellectual property subset.  

Beastie Boys win copyright infringement lawsuit

Many companies use popular music in their promotional videos and advertisements. Using a well-know artist's or band's music is a common technique to promote your own brand, but if you use a band's music in your ads without their permission, you could find yourself in legal trouble. 

Use of movie posters leads to copyright lawsuit against Spike Lee

Well-known Hollywood director Spike Lee and his production company have been named in a copyright infringement lawsuit over the use of a designer's posters being used to promote the film "Oldboy" without his permission. According to the lawsuit, the designer created the movie posters for the film and offered them to the defendants. However, they never paid him for the posters, which was a condition of using the movie posters. 

Led Zeppelin sued for copyright infringement

Musicians face a lot of scrutiny when it comes to their songs. When one musician believes another artist or band stole their song, they can file a copyright infringement lawsuit. A recent lawsuit filed against Led Zeppelin is an example of the legal action other bands can take if they think their song or melody was stolen by another artist.

Oldies but goodies? Pandora sued for copyright infringement

Many of you are probably familiar with Pandora, the popular Internet radio site. Pandora allows users to listen to a variety of songs and even create lists of different types of music they want to listen to. You may not know that Pandora has to pay licensing fees to play many of these songs because of federal copyright laws. However, federal laws don't protect songs made before 1972. 

Teller wins copyright lawsuit over pantomimes in magic trick

Magicians often come up with their tricks and magic acts. When someone else starts performing their magic acts, many wonder what they can do to stop others from stealing their tricks. Copyright laws often come to mind when thinking about ways to prevent others from using your ideas or products. However, copyright law does not include magic tricks. 

Quentin Tarantino involved in unique copyright infringement case

Popular Hollywood director, producer and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker Media after he claims they illegally published a link to his new screenplay online. This copyright infringement case is a bit complicated since Gawker Media did not actually post his screenplay on one of their blogs. Rather, they linked to third-party websites that had copies of the screenplay. 

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