Copyright Law Updates

Featured Expert Legal Commentary

Seltzer v. Green Day: Ninth Circuit Upholds Green Day’s Fair Use of Street Art

By Tom Zuber and Jeff Zuber of Zuber Lawler & Del Duca

The Ninth Circuit recently upheld a fair use judgment in favor of Green Day in its use of an artist’s drawing in a concert backdrop. In Seltzer v. Green Day, Nos. 11-56573 and 11-57160 (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2013), the Court relied heavily on its findings that Green Day’s use… More...

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Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc.: Third Circuit: No First Amendment Protection for Using Athlete’s Likeness in Video Game

Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc  |  September 5, 2013

A divided Third Circuit recently held that a college football player’s inclusion in a popular football video game violated his right to publicity. In Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 11-3750 (3d Cir. May 21, 2013), the Court found that Hart’s real-world physical likeness and football More...

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems v. American Home Realty Network: Fourth Circuit Rules Web Site Owner Can Enforce Copyright on User-Uploaded Photos

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. v. American Home Realty Network, Inc.  |  August 30, 2013

In a ruling with widespread application, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an owner of a web-based automated database using user-uploaded photos can register and protect those photos from third-party copyright infringers without undue formalities. In Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. v. More...

Cariou v. Prince: Court Finds Appropriated but Altered Photos Protected under Fair Use

Cariou v. Prince  |  June 9, 2013

The Second Circuit recently issued an opinion involving a wide scope of copyright fair use issues. In Cariou v. Prince, 11-1197-cv (2d Cir. April 25, 2013), the Court held in favor of defendant Prince, who appropriated dozens of Cariou’s photos in thirty collages. The Court found that when the More...

Golan v. Holder: Divided Supreme Court Upholds Copyright Statute Taking Works Out of the Public Domain

Golan v. Holder  |  May 30, 2012

In a 6-2 opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of copyright protection for some works once in the public domain. Specifically, in Golan v. Holder, 132 S.Ct. 873 (2012), the majority sided with the United States in upholding the Uruguay Round Agreements Act § 514, which granted More...

UMG Recordings v. Veoh Networks: Mere Hosting Not Enough to Comply with Actual Knowledge Requirement under DMCA

UMG Recordings, Inc., v. Veoh Networks, Inc.  |  February 21, 2012

The Ninth Circuit has provided extensive guidance on one of the DMCA’s safe harbor statutes, § 512(c), in a case pitting a major music label versus an internet video-sharing website. In UMG Recordings, Inc., v. Veoh Networks, Inc., Nos. 09-55902, 09-56777, 10-55732, 2011 U.S. App. WL 6357788, More...

Apple v. Psystar: Ninth Circuit Upholds Validity of Software Licensing Agreements against Copyright Misuse Defense

Apple, Inc., v. Psystar, Corp.  |  November 18, 2011

The Ninth Circuit recently upheld the validity of conditional software licenses which avoid the pitfalls of the first sale doctrine. In Apple, Inc., v. Psystar, Corp., No. 10-15113, 2011 U.S. App. WL 4470623, (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2011), the Ninth Circuit upheld a permanent injunction against More...

Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Akanoc Solutions: Ninth Circuit Awards $11M in Damages against Web Host for Contributory Infringement

Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Akanoc Solutions, Inc.  |  November 2, 2011

The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed contributory trademark and copyright infringement claims against a web hosting company which hosted an allegedly infringing website. In Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Akanoc Solutions, Inc., Nos. 10-15909, 10-16105, 2011 U.S. App. WL 4014320 (9th Cir. More...

Mattel v. MGA: Specific Employment Contract Terms Dictate Employer Copyright Claims

Mattel, Inc. v. MGA Entm’t Inc.  |  October 18, 2010

In a dramatic ending to a dramatic case, the Ninth Circuit reversed and vacated the enormous award Mattel had received in its claims against MGA for wrongfully procuring and manufacturing “BRATZ” dolls, to which Mattel claimed the copyright. In Mattel, Inc. v. MGA Entm’t Inc., ___ F.3d ___, More...

Benay v. Warner Bros.: Upholding Contract Rights for Artistic Works Even Without Copyright Protection

Benay v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.  |  September 8, 2010

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed that contractual protections for artistic works may be enforceable even in the absence of valid federal copyright protection for those works. In Benay v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 607 F.3d 620 (9th Cir. 2010), the Ninth Circuit More...

Cosmetic Ideas v. IAC Interactive: Adopting the “Application Approach” to Copyright Registration

Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactivecorp  |  August 27, 2010

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals joined the Fifth and Seventh Circuits in holding that a completed application filed with the U.S. Copyright Office suffices for “registration” for litigation purposes. In Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. v. IAC/Interactivecorp. 606 F.3d 612 (9th Cir. 2010), the Ninth More...

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Companies Mentioned

Copyright Law

The following companies are mentioned in Copyright Law Updates:

UMG Recordings, Inc.

Westbound Records, Inc.

New York Times Company

Kamind Associates, Inc. a.k.a. KAM Industries

Tornante Company, LLC

Copley Press, Inc.

Associated Press

Spark Capital, L.P.

Janice Combs Publishing, Inc. d.b.a. Justin Combs Publishing

Ebsco Industries, Inc.

All Headline News Corp.

Spark Capital LLC

Bad Boy Records LLC

P/K Associates, Inc.

American Software Development Company, Inc.

Songs of Universal, Inc.

Bad Boy Entertainment, Inc. d.b.a. Bad Boy Records

National Writers Union

Affordable Video Systems, Ltd.

Shelter Venture Fund LP

Yahoo! Inc.

The Authors Guild, Inc.

Dream Games of Arizona, Inc.

Shelter Capital Partners LLC

Television Music License Committee

American Society of Journalists and Authors

Frank Diana City Entertainment

Rondor Music International, Inc.


Michael Castleman Inc.

PC Onsite

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc.

RealNetworks, Inc.

Robert E. Treuhaft and Jessica L. Treuhaft Trust

American Home Realty Network, Inc.

AOL LLC f.k.a. America Online, Inc.


Power Ventures, Inc.

American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers


Facebook, Inc.

Northern Lights Products, Inc. d.b.a.

HSN General Partner LLC

Windupbird Publishing Ltd.

Litecubes, LLC

Home Shopping Network, Inc.

Nicotext A.B.

Poof Apparel Corp.

Cosmetic Ideas, Inc. d.b.a.Sweet Romance Jewelry Manufacturing