When Can I Play a Radio or TV in Public Without a License? [Infographic]

It’s a perennial problem for business owners. They try to entertain their customers and provide a pleasant ambiance, but are never quite sure what copyright law does and doesn’t allow them to do. Too often, this doesn’t even occur to them until a demand letter shows up in the mail accusing them of copyright infringement. […]

Medical Implants and 3D Printing: Tomorrow’s Tech Meets Today’s Copyright Act

The U.S. Copyright Office is in the midst of deciding whether to exempt certain emerging technologies from the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. And it’s not too late for you to do something about it. The following summary is borrowed, with permission, from Attorney Stefan M. Mentzer at White & Case. Background Every three […]

“Augmented Reality” By Any Other Name: Still as Sweet?

Augmented reality is dead. Long live augmented reality. It has long been predicted by some within the augmented reality community that AR will succeed when people stop calling it “augmented reality.”  By that measure, things are looking up. The last six months has seen a rapid increase in the amount of AR visualization technology entering […]

Top 5 Legal Issues in the Internet of Things, Part 4: Copyright

Imagine a world in which each box of Lego® bricks you buy is a standalone toy–unable to combine with the bricks from any other set. That, of course, is the opposite of the real world. As was brilliantly depicted in 2014’s Lego Movie, actual kids exercise their creativity by combining the bricks from every set […]

Top 5 Legal Issues in the Internet of Things, Part 1: Data Security & Privacy

“The Internet of Things” (or IoT) is an increasingly popular shorthand term for the emerging arrangement of physical devices (other than what we’d typically think of as “computers”) that come equipped with wireless internet connectivity. Examples include smart thermostats, smart doorbells, smart refrigerators, smart cars–pretty much anything that marketers feel the need to insert the prefix “smart” in […]

LinkedIn Lawsuit Again Shows Personal Relationships Can Have Commercial Value

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. […]

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

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 […]

Infographic: Copyright on the Internet

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 […]

Digital Justice in Detroit

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 […]

The Consequences of False Contact Info for Infringing Websites

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. […]