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Not a bargain at twice the price: Court awards attorneys’ fees to victorious copyright defendant

Mike Nepple September 16, 2020
Someone holding opening an empty wallet

Richard Bell, an attorney-photographer who has filed and settled many infringement lawsuits, has learned that a loss at trial can be particularly expensive when a court ordered him to pay a defendant’s fees. READ MORE

The bell tolls for alleged copyright claim to skyline photo

Mike Nepple October 31, 2019
Church bells hanging in a bell tower

A federal jury in Indianapolis found that retired attorney Richard Bell does not own the copyright to a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline — an image at the heart of dozens of infringement lawsuits Bell has filed over the years. READ MORE

Fair use isn’t arithmetic

Mark Sableman October 25, 2018
One plus one math equation

While determining copyright fair use may seem as easy as adding up the scores of the four fair use factors, the reality is not so simple. Fair use requires complex and nuanced judgments, not simplistic arithmetic. READ MORE

Can embedding a tweet make you a copyright infringer?

Mike Nepple Mark Sableman March 19, 2018

A federal judge in New York recently held that online publishers who embed tweets that include copyrighted photographs violate the rights holder’s public display right, even if they do not copy or store the photo on their servers. That decision has received a lot of publicity. But other courts view the issue differently. READ MORE

Exclusive license stymies copyright owner's infringement suit

Mark Sableman January 24, 2018
magnifying glass rests on a stack of documents

Ownership is unique under the Copyright Act — that’s the argument a federal court made in throwing out an infringement action filed by a copyright owner who created the work in question but failed to retain a financial interest in it. READ MORE

Two layers of photo ownership in conflict in street photography case

Mark Sableman June 13, 2017
In Focus_default blog

One person can own physical photographs, but not have the right to use them, because someone else owns the copyrights. That distinction is the heart of a case being fought in federal court in Chicago. READ MORE

When good copyright laws go bad: Indictment lays out porn ‘trolling’ scheme

Mark Sableman March 8, 2017
illustration of a man with money held over his mouth

What happens when you use legitimate means to achieve despicable ends? In the case of two attorneys at the center of a high-profile copyright enforcement scheme involving pornographic movies, you end up on the receiving end of a federal indictment. READ MORE