LinkedIn Lawsuit Again Shows Personal Relationships Can Have Commercial Value

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I have argued for years that social media will help redefine and expand the right of publicity–that common-law right to control the commercial exploitation of one’s personal identity–because the entire medium is premised on users’ identities. We saw a major milestone in this regard with the 2011 decisions in Cohen v. Facebook and Fraley v.[...]

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You’re Responsible for Copyright Infringement By Others on Your Website–Unless You’ve Done This

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There’s a common misconception among website owners that they are not responsible for content that others post on their website.  The truth is that, although it is possible for website owners to shield themselves from liability, there are certain hoops they need to jump through first. And if you don’t take those steps before someone posts[...]

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Infographic: Copyright on the Internet

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This week’s post is brought to you courtesy of NeoMam Studios, which provided the following infographic (original here) summarizing some of the most significant events related to online copyright law. (Inexplicably, however, the 1999 publication of my law review note on the subject didn’t make the cut. I call shenanigans!) Thanks to NeoMam, and Happy[...]

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Digital Justice in Detroit

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Earlier this week, I got the chance to speak at a Lawyers for the Creative Economy (LCE) Code event sponsored by Creative Many (formerly “ArtServe Michigan.”) The theme was “Cities, Privacy and IP in the Digital Now,” and I contributed some of my ideas about protecting artists’ intellectual property and creative uses for augmented and other digital media. The[...]

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The Consequences of False Contact Info for Infringing Websites

(c) Great Beyond/flickr

Have you ever looked up the WHOIS information for a domain name to find out who owns it, only to discover that the information listed there is fake? (I’m not talking about the increasingly popular private registration services, but false information.) That can be frustrating, especially when the site is infringing your intellectual property rights.[...]

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Rule 34 and Trademark Dilution

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The popular internet meme known as Rule 34 states: “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.”  In actuality, there probably are a few exceptions to this rule (or at least I’d like to think so), but probably not many. At the same time, courts have become increasingly willing to product the owners of[...]

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Why Software Startups Need to Register Their Copyrights Now

(c) flickr Irish Typepad

When it comes to building an IP portfolio, patents aren’t the only–or even necessarily the most important–ingredient. I am consistently surprised by the number of software startups who spend their last nickel on patent applications, but never even consider dropping $35 to register a copyright. The fact is that copyright registration offers many of the same[...]

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Landmark TTAB Decision Invalidates REDSKINS Trademark Registrations

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This post was authored by Jennifer Hetu, a partner of mine at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Ms. Hetu’s practice focuses on trademark law and brand protection. She advises clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies on a wide range of trademark matters in the U.S. and international markets. Ms. Hetu also collaborates[...]

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Augment Your Breakfast With Learning at AWE 2014

breakfast mtg flickr Michael Summers

Attending this year’s Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara? As the Culture Chair of the event, I’ve collaborated with the organizers to hold “Augmented Breakfast” round table discussions on each morning of the conference. Between 8:00-9:00 on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, gather with us in Ballroom G&H (near the registration desk) for a chance to[...]

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Field Agent – a Crowdsourced IP Enforcement Tool

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Every once in awhile, you stumble across something that makes you say, “how did I not realize this existed?” or “I wish I would’ve found this years ago!” Field Agent made me say both of those things. This service has existed for four years, but I somehow just learned of it. This service is designed[...]

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