The Business Litigation Blog

Archive for tag: copyright infringement

Radiohead Sues Lana Del Rey for Copyright Infringement

Rumor has it that Radiohead might sue Lana Del Rey for copyright infringement over her songGet Freeand its similarities to their breakout hit,Creep. Lana Del Rey offered Radiohead 40% of the publishing money from the song, but Lana alleges that Radiohead and their attorneys will only accept 100%. Del Rey posted in a tweet “It’s true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn’t inspired byCreep, Radiohead feels it was and want 100% of the publishing – I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court.” Radiohead has not made a statement. The irony of the situation is Radiohead’s claim is over a song that they were sued over. The Hollies sued Radiohead and won when they heard similarities between The Hollies’The Air I Brea...

Zenimax Sues Samsung After Winning Oculus Intellectual Property/Unfair Competition Lawsuit

Video game conglomerate ZeniMax filed a lawsuit against Samsung for knowingly profiting from Oculus technology originally developed at ZeniMax. John Carmack was developing mobile Virtual Reality (VR) and other VR hybrids. It is alleged that he had secret meetings in ZeniMax owned offices to give away trade secrets to other businesses and work on VR with them. This is the foundation of the Oculus case that ZeniMax won for $500 million. Oculus executives were penalized for copyright infringement, false designation, and violating non-disclosure agreements. Samsung was aware of this case while they were developing Gear VR: Now ZeniMax is  suing Samsung for copyright infringement for using ZeniMax VR code in Gear VR, along with trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. Gear VR is alleged...

Led Zeppelin Calls for Copyright Infringement Trial to be Dismissed

Led Zeppelin requested that judgment be made in their favor in the copyrighting infringement trial against them because the plaintiff hasn’t presented evidence of infringement. This is due to their belief that when the Plaintiff rested their case the burden of proof to present similarities between Spirit’s “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven” had not been presented effectively enough to continue with the case. Judge Gary Klausner has requested that similarities between the songs can only be observed through performance of the sheet music and not recordings. Recordings of Taurus and Stairway both sound similar to the average listener. The sheet music presents a much different representation than what is heard. Representatives for Led Zeppelin argued that a descending chromatic scale is a musical building block and not able...

“Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Infringement Trial Begins

Led Zeppelin is under fire for copyright infringement of Spirit’s instrumental track that features a descending chromatic arpeggio that sounds similar to Led Zeppelin’s classic track “Stairway to Heaven.” The liner notes of Spirit’s 1996 reissue of their self-titled debut address people saying “Taurus” sounds like “Stairway to Heaven.” Former spirit guitarist Randy Craig Wolfe wrote “people always ask me why ‘Stairway to Heaven’ sounds exactly like ‘Taurus’, which was released two years earlier. …They opened up for us on their first American tour.” Historically cases related to copyright infringement in music have garnered significant media attention and had contentious trials. The famous Queen and Vanilla Ice sampling case pose similar, but ultimately different problems than what is presented here. Other similar preex...

Copyright Infringement and Fair Use Case Against Google Books

Copyright law protects the arrangement of words, but it does not protect ideas and it does not prevent “fair use” of copyrighted material.  So if you write a book about man’s inhumanity to man, you cannot sue someone else who writes a book with that same idea.  “Fair use,” however, is often litigated, because people disagree about what is fair.  Typically fair use allows short quotes or commentary about a work, so if I said author X can’t write a coherent sentence, and gave an example, author X could not sue me for violating his or her copyright. A recent case in New York presented the most extreme example of fair use:  Google’s book scanning project, in which it scans all the books it can find and makes them available for searching, with excerpts available to determine what the book is about.  ...

With Emergence of 3D Printing, Some Companies Can Think Ahead

Some months ago we published a blog post highlighting the potential copyright issues related to the emergence of newer, cheaper, and more accessible 3D printers. While there have yet to be any high profile lawsuits surrounding 3D printing, many believe that the threat it poses on copyright should not to be taken lightly. Lego, a company that has accomplished major financial success in the past couple of years, is the type of company particularly susceptible to 3D printing infringement due to the relative ease of recreating its toys. According to venturebeat.com, the solution for companies like Lego will be to jump on board with digitization by providing templates for users to print existing toys as well as recreate their own designs. Much like the movie and publishing industries (though publishing industry has been...

Emergence of 3D Printing Calls Attention to Possibilities of Copyright Infringement

While 3D printing has been around for quite a while, the emergence of cheaper more accessible 3D printers has brought a significant amount of attention to the process. Many people are excited about the future possibilities for the health and science fields as they relate to 3D printing, and there has been speculation that as the process progresses it may replace traditional mass manufacturing. However, a serious issue that has yet to be accounted for is the difficulty with respect to intellectual property law. According to legal magazine InsideCounsel, while most manufacturers copyright their goods with a range of trademarks, patents, and other protections, 3D printing strips away many of these protections. As long as an individual has a blueprint for a product, they can use these devices to recreate items repeatedly a...

Pop Stars Face Copyright Lawsuits over Summer Hits

It is quite common for the federal courts to see copyright infringement in the music industry. While those who file suit are often unknown artists, there are also cases in which known artists file suit against singers/songwriters/producers for infringement. Some of these cases have garnered a great deal of media attention (does anyone recall the Queen/Vanilla Ice debacle?) while others are settled rather quickly. Within the past couple of weeks, two debates on these topics have arisen. The debates highlight separate issues with respect to copyright infringement as well as the often blurred lines that define it. A case between the estate of Marvin Gaye and his band the Funkadelics and singer Robin Thicke ended up in federal court in California over Thicke’s ultra-popular summer hit, “Blurred Lines”. Representative...

Rihanna Wins Lawsuit against Topshop

Pop singer Rihanna has just won her lawsuit against British clothing store Topshop for selling a tank top bearing her image. The shirt, which was first called the Rihanna Top and then changed to Icon Top after complaints from Rihanna, displays an image of the singer on her tour that was taken by a freelance photographer without her permission. It has been sold in the UK, but not here in the US, a fact that many speculated would make her case more difficult, given that the laws governing intellectual property are much more relaxed in the UK. According to the lawsuit, in selling the shirts, the company is attempting to pass them off as having been approved by the singer; thus tarnishing Rihanna’s reputation in the eyes of her fans. In addition to agreeing with the aforementioned reasoning, the judge’s decision also ...

Kickstarter Puts a Stop to "Where the Wild Things Are" Sequel Funding

Publisher HarperCollins has sent notice of copyright infringement to Kickstarter after British author Geoffrey Todd and illustrator Rich Berner began fundraising for the publication of the sequel to Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” The pair announced their plans to publish the sequel entitled, “Back to the Wild” this year in conjunction with the book’s 50th anniversary. When they launched a Kickstarter (a fundraising webpage) in order to raise the $40,000 necessary, both Todd and Berner said that measures had been taken in order to prevent any infringement of Sendak’s copyright. However, according to the notice sent by HarperCollins, the estate to the classic original owns the rights to derivative works. Kickstarter has backed out of the project. The laws surrounding what constitutes copyright infringe...

 
Real Time Web Analytics