Trademark & Copyright Infringement

Lawyers have a lot of technical training and experience. They spend three years in a hybrid humanities / vocational graduation school, devote a few months to cramming a summary of one or two state’s laws into their brains, regurgitate and forget it all over two or three days, then spend a couple years learning, through

[Update: I somehow missed Ron Coleman’s earlier take on the article, but it’s required reading if you’re interested in the subject. Coleman and Walter Olson both seem on board with, as Olson words it, "steering rights owners into agency complaints or arbitration as an alternative, or at least precondition, to court action."] 


Via the WSJ Law Blog, the Ninth Circuit, in a significant published opinion with ramifications for copyright litigators, vacated the $10 million verdict — and, more importantly, the constructive trust and injunction — that Mattel won against MGA.

Unusually, the panel summed up its own findings at the end:

[Carter] Bryant’s employment agreement may

The Los Angeles Times featured a story about the legal saga that has enveloped the Christian bestseller The Shack:

"The Shack," William Paul Young’s novel about a man rediscovering lost faith after the murder of his 5-year-old daughter, started out as a manuscript no one would touch. Finally, pastors Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings

Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic "Hope" poster during Obama’s Presidential campaign, is not perfect.

After the Associated Press claimed that Fairey’s use of one of their images for the poster required authorization, Fairey — represented by the Fair Use Project at Stanford University — pre-emptively sued to establish (by way of a declaratory judgment

[UPDATE: Welcome, io9 readers! If you would like to learn more about this area, you should check out the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center.]

The sharp readers of io9, themselves a collective Library of Alexandria of science fiction, noted surprising common elements between James Cameron’s Avatar and a 1957 short story

The AmLaw Daily reports:

When news broke Wednesday that guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani’s copyright suit against the band Coldplay had been settled, the Litigation Daily raced to Pacer to download the documents. After all, it’s not every day that a copyright dispute between an aging guitar god and one of the biggest rock bands

As Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog notes:

For all those who’ve made lists of cases to watch heading into the fall, may we kindly suggest adding the Google Books case, if you haven’t already.

The backstory: Manhattan judge Denny Chin is currently sitting on a settlement reached last year between the search engine

f the Tenenbaum situation had been reversed — if Warner Music had ripped off Tenenbaum by fraudulently selling him an MP3 then revoking his access to it, which Warner (through the RIAA) claims they can do — then there would be no question on the limit of the punitive damages.

Continue Reading The $22,500 MP3: Does The Constitution Protect People Or Just Corporations?

After four days of trial, and a few hours of deliberations, the AP reports:

A federal jury ruled Thursday that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded recording companies $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song.

Thomas-Rasset’s second trial actually turned out worse for her. When a different federal jury heard her