Court Rejects Gossip Site's Fair Use Defense--Barcroft v. Coed Media

Court Rejects Gossip Site’s Fair Use Defense–Barcroft v. Coed Media

This is a copyright lawsuit by owners of celebrity photos against a gossip and entertainment website. It’s noteworthy because it went to trial and the plaintiffs prevailed, but the damage award is modest. The court finds that plaintiffs owns or validly…

First Circuit Rejects Copyright Workaround to Section 230--Small Justice v. Ripoff Report

First Circuit Rejects Copyright Workaround to Section 230–Small Justice v. Ripoff Report

[It’s impossible to blog about Section 230 without reminding you that it remains highly imperiled.] Goren runs a law firm, Small Justice. DuPont, a defendant in a case Goren brought, posted two negative reviews about Goren to Ripoff Report. Goren sued DuPont, who…

Section 512(f) Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss–Johnson v. New Destiny Church

Section 512(f) litigation has resulted in so much futility that it’s big news when a 512(f) complaint even survives a motion to dismiss. In this case, Johnson allegedly displayed copyrighted photos and videos of Paula White Ministries (the court implies…

‘Reaction’ Video Protected By Fair Use–Hosseinzadeh v. Klein

Plaintiff Matt Hosseinzadeh published a video skit featuring the “Bold Guy” character, “Bold Guy vs. Parkour Girl” video. Ethan and Hila Klein created a “reaction video” to it. Hosseinzadeh’s video is five minutes and twenty-four seconds. The Kleins used three…

Vegetarian Ethiopian Cookbook Copyright Lawsuit Turns Sour--Schleifer v. Berns

Vegetarian Ethiopian Cookbook Copyright Lawsuit Turns Sour–Schleifer v. Berns

Law professors love to riff on the copyrightability of cookbooks because it raises several subtle issues. Are recipes copyrightable? Normally not–at least, not the ingredient lists. Cf. the chicken sandwich case. Are compilations of recipes copyrightable? Sure, but compilation copyrights…

Appropriation Artist Can't Win Fair Use Defense on Motion to Dismiss--Graham v. Prince

Appropriation Artist Can’t Win Fair Use Defense on Motion to Dismiss–Graham v. Prince

This is a lawsuit by plaintiff Donald Graham against well-known “appropriation artist” Richard Prince and his gallery for copyright infringement. As described by the court: Prince’s [work] is [an . . . ] inkjet print of a screenshot taken by…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Patent, More)

Copyright * Design Basics, LLC v. Lexington Homes, Inc., 858 F.3d 1093 (7th Cir. 2017). Three noteworthy passages from this case: – “the existence of the plaintiff’s copyrighted materials on the Internet, even on a public and “user‐friendly” site, cannot…

DMCA Safe Harbor Doesn’t Protect Zazzle’s Printing of Physical Items–Greg Young Publishing v. Zazzle

The court summarizes the key facts: “GYPI alleges that Zazzle has publicly displayed 41 paintings by Westmoreland or Erickson on its website, and that Zazzle has created consumer products bearing these images.” GYPI lacked standing to enforce the Westmoreland paintings,…

Ill-Advised Copyright Lawsuit Over Facebook Live Video Becomes Costly For Plaintiff--Konangataa v. ABC

Ill-Advised Copyright Lawsuit Over Facebook Live Video Becomes Costly For Plaintiff–Konangataa v. ABC

You probably remember the story about a new dad’s Facebook Live broadcast of his baby’s birth. His video was covered by many media outlets, including some outlets that published snippets of the video (re the defendants in this case: 30…

Copyright Registrations for Emoticons and Emojis

Copyright Registrations for Emoticons and Emojis

[This is the first of a series of excerpts from my Emojis and the Law paper. Note that I’ve created a new blog category for “Emojis”–the first new category in years!] In my Emojis and the Law paper, I analyzed…