The New Axanar-Inspired Guidelines for Star Trek Fan Films

If you’ve been tuned at all to developments in the science fiction or intellectual property fields, you know that Paramount Pictures and CBS have been pursuing copyright infringement litigation against the producers of a Star Trek fan-fiction movie called Axanar. The fan/producers published the 20-minute teaser Prelude to Axanar on YouTube in August 2014 (which as of[…]

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Supreme Court Gives Guidance on Award of Fees in Copyright Cases

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in the Kirtsaeng case, concerning the standards that govern the award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party as an element of “costs” under the Copyright Act. The statute itself does not give guidance on when fees should be awarded. Prior Supreme Court case law was[…]

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God, Green Day, and Copyright – How Punk Rockers Affirmed Fair Use Rights in Worship Services

I love God, and I love copyright law. As a result, one of my longtime academic interests has been the role of copyright law in the creative communications that take place every week in worship services across the country. Specifically, I’ve written (here and here) on whether, and to what extent, the fair use doctrine permits pastors[…]

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VR Modeling Has a Lot of Benefits, But Copyright Isn’t One of Them

With the surging popularity of virtual reality technologies has come a wave of companies creating content for virtual worlds.  This includes not only the design of new and fanciful creations, but also scans of the existing, physical world.  A lot of scans. The demand for virtual recreations of the physical world is more than understandable. “The[…]

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Social Reading Raises New Copyright and Publicity Rights Issues

The following is paraphrased from a talk I gave at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s 2015 Digital Book Conference in Manhattan. Recent Innovations in Social Reading “Social reading” is a publishing industry buzzword that has come to encompass a variety of methods for using digital platforms to expand the reading experience. This includes such simple features[…]

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Privacy, Law, and Ethics in Augmented Reality Panel at AWE 2015 [VIDEO]

As AR comes into its own, the legal and ethical issues that come with it can’t be ignored. On June 8, 2015, I had the honor of hosting a 50-minute panel discussion on these topics with Dave Griesbach (Security Expert, Google), Jerri Lynn Hogg (Professor, Fielding University), and Dave Lorenzini (Founder, CEO, EFX). Not only did these[…]

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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.[…]

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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[…]

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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[…]

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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[…]

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