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Linking to the Past: Week of October 13

WikiLeaks released another draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s intellectual property chapter. As you might have guessed, many are displeased. Congratulations, European librarians! You can digitize your books without infringing copyrights. Access to the internet does not imply access to a given copyrighted work. Google Google: verbification isn’t enough to make a trademark generic. Be careful more »

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Publicity Rights in Major College Sports Telecasts: To Whom Do They Belong?

“Whether Division I student-athletes hold any ownership rights in their athletic performances does not depend on the scope of broadcasters’ First Amendment rights but, rather, on whether the student-athletes themselves validly transferred their rights of publicity to another party.” – U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, Pre-Trial Ruling In Marshall v. ESPN, NCAA student-athletes are testing more »

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A ®ose By Any Other Name

A successful trademark can provide more than just brand recognition or notoriety. In fact, Forbes reports that the 10 most valuable trademarks have a collective worth of over $300 billion. That figure is greater than the GDP of all but the 44 wealthiest countries in the world. Clearly that little ® can mean something, but more »

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Linking to the Past: Week of September 29

Fresh off Eliza’s and Prof. Sprigman’s discussion of sampling, LMFAO argues that “Every day I’m shufflin’” constitutes fair use of Rick Ross’ “Every day I’m hustlin’.” Good luck trademarking McAnything. The TTAB is pretty sure you’ll just be confused for McDonald’s. UK copyright law finally allows for parody and pastiche of copyrighted material, so long more »

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Uh “Oh”: Jay Z’s Alleged Copyright Infringement and Issues with Sampling Restraint

What does Jay-Z’s “Run this Town” have in common with Eddie Bo’s “Hook and Sling?” Certainly not contemporary popularity, and even listening to them several times doesn’t provide an easy answer. But those with keen ears—or a copyright and a litigious bent—may notice the split-second sample of the word “oh” from the third second of “Hook and Sling” that forms more »

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You’re Terminated!: Termination and Reversion of Copyright Grants and the Termination Gap Dilemma

You’re Terminated!: Termination and Reversion of Copyright Grants and the Termination Gap Dilemma. By Pierre B. Pine* Introduction The 1976 Copyright Act (the “Act”) went into effect on January 1, 1978. The Act provided authors (and some heirs, beneficiaries, and representatives) with the right to terminate prior grants of their copyrights under certain conditions and more »

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