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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

Small photo credit removal may result in big damages

Mike Nepple September 14, 2020
A closeup of a smartphone held by a hand displaying news

Omitting a small print photo credit can get you in big trouble under the copyright laws. That’s what happened recently when a court affirmed an award of almost $74,000 against BuzzFeed, when a reporter copied a photo from the New York Post and removed the photographer’s name. READ MORE

Why potential claimants should take care with DMCA takedown demands

Justin Mulligan September 1, 2020
copyright

A recent decision shows why intellectual property owners need to verify the merit of their DMCA takedown notices before making them. Improper DMCA takedown notices can lead to costly litigation and potential liabilities. READ MORE

Photo embedding cases depend on social media company decisions

Mark Sableman August 3, 2020
A smart phone taking a picture of food

Copyright claims based on social media content will often depend on the technologies used and the applicable terms of service—both under the control of the social media companies. READ MORE

It’s not infringing if it’s an authorized embedding

Mark Sableman April 17, 2020
Taking a picture of a wedding bouquet with a smartphone

If you have been itching to use someone’s social media content – despite all the warnings you’ve heard from copyright lawyers – there’s finally a way to do it. At least as to Instagram, if you use one of Instagram’s tools to embed a public Instagram post within your own posting, you will not infringe the original user’s copyright. READ MORE

Air ball! Court rejects shot at copyright claim for NBA player tattoos

Mike Nepple April 3, 2020
A tattoo artist giving someone a tattoo on their arm

Is it a technical foul to show NBA players’ tattoos in a video game? A federal judge in New York answered with an emphatic “No,” and ruled in favor of Take Two, a video game developer, and against a company that purchased the tattoo copyrights from the original artists. READ MORE

CASE Act promises fast track for small copyright claims, but is it the right track?

Mike Nepple December 11, 2019
A formula one car racing on a track

The CASE Act, a law designed to help copyright holders expedite the resolution of small copyright infringement claims, would provide an alternative path to resolve copyright infringement claims. But whether the CASE Act will pass the Senate in its current form and fulfill its stated premise remains open to questions. 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

Appellate Court leaves open question of good faith in copyright litigation

Mike Nepple June 24, 2019
Illustration of thief caught stealing books

In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals avoiding answering if good faith is a viable defense to a copyright infringement claim. Instead, the court found the defendant failed to prove its alleged good faith, reversing a lower court’s dismissal of a photographer’s claim. READ MORE

Supreme Court rules copyright claimants must begin later, get less

Mike Nepple March 5, 2019
us-supreme-court_25981489306_o

In two unanimous rulings, the Supreme Court limited when a copyright claimant can file suit and how much a successful claimant can recover in litigation expenses. The decisions interpreted the Copyright Act’s requirements concerning “registration” before suit, and “full costs” recoverable by a successful plaintiff. READ MORE

Dentist’s failed suit demonstrates a copyright’s bite needs more than teeth

Mark Sableman February 18, 2019
Photo of chattering teeth toy

You can copyright just about any design, right? Not quite. According to the Copyright Office, designs still need some creativity, illustrated by a dentist’s attempts to copyright photos of teeth. READ MORE

Social media photos, once again, are not fair game

Mark Sableman January 29, 2019
Illustration of hand in a phone stopping a man

For those who missed the message five years ago that social media photos aren’t free to use, a new decision has renewed and reinforced that message. The circumstances of the case may make this decision hard to forget or ignore. READ MORE

Copyright Office identifies visual arts copyright problems, solutions

Mark Sableman January 24, 2019
An SLR camera sitting on a laptop computer

A new report from the Copyright Office has shed light on the deficiencies in their own processes: outdated and complicated resources are making it harder for visual artists to copyright their work, leaving them vulnerable to online infringement. READ MORE

Mark Sableman speaks at Photography Hall of Fame

Mark Sableman August 14, 2018
In Focus_default blog

On the topic "Copyright and Photography: What you should know," Mark discussed notable photography copyright cases and their impact on copyright law. READ MORE