De Minimis Music Sampling Isn’t Infringement–Salsoul v. Madonna

There are several alternative tests for gauging “substantial similarity” in copyright cases. The flagship test is the “ordinary observer” test, but variations include the (baffling) extrinsic/intrinsic test and the abstraction-filtration-comparison test. With respect to sampling sound recordings, the Sixth Circuit’s…

WARNING: Copyright Office Resurrects Troubling Plan To Strip Websites Of 512 Safe Harbor

The Copyright Office has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a new electronic submission process for websites and online services to designate agents to receive 512(c)(3) copyright takedown notices. The agent designation process is crucial to the 17…

512 Safe Harbor Applies to Content Submitted By Independent Contractors--BWP v. Examiner

512 Safe Harbor Applies to Content Submitted By Independent Contractors–BWP v. Examiner

BWP owns the rights to various celebrity photos. Examiner.com is a “entertainment, news and lifestyle network” that relies on content submitted by independent contractors confusingly called “examiners.” The Examiner’s written agreement specifies that “the examiners” are contractors, not employees. The…

Proposed EU Regulation on Cross-Border Access to Copyrighted Content (Guest Blog Post)

Proposed EU Regulation on Cross-Border Access to Copyrighted Content (Guest Blog Post)

by Guest Blogger Marketa Trimble When the European Commission issued its initial documents (here and here) in May 2015 regarding the Single Digital Market and geoblocking on the internet, the tone of the documents, and in particular their apparent vilification…

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Marketing and More)

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Marketing and More)

Copyright * Naruto v. Slater: “Naruto is not an “author” within the meaning of the Copyright Act.” I heart Naruto! * Handshoe v. Abel, 1:14-cv-00159-KS-MTP (S.D. Miss. Jan. 8, 2016) (cites omitted): Given that there is no dispute that the…

CSS and HTML Code May Be Copyrightable--Media.net v. Netseer

CSS and HTML Code May Be Copyrightable–Media.net v. Netseer

Media.net and Netseer both offer contextual advertising services. Their clients place ad units on their website and, when visitors click on ads, they are taken to a “search results” page. Media.net accused Netseer of copyright infringement and various state law…

Surveying Ten Years Of Top Internet Law Developments (Forbes Cross-Post)

Surveying Ten Years Of Top Internet Law Developments (Forbes Cross-Post)

I’ve been writing an annual list of top Internet Law developments for a decade, so I thought it might be fun to look back at my #1 ranked development in each of the past 10 years. Let’s take a stroll…

Top 10 Internet Law Developments of 2015 (Forbes Cross-Post)

Top 10 Internet Law Developments of 2015 (Forbes Cross-Post)

I’m pleased to present my annual list of top Internet Law developments from the past year. As the years go by, increasingly the most important Internet Law developments/crackdowns are occurring internationally, but I tried to focus on U.S. developments. 10)…

2H 2015 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright)

2H 2015 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright)

* Norberto-Colon Lorenzana v. South American Restaurants Corp., No. 14-1698 (1st Cir. Aug. 21, 2015): “a chicken sandwich is not eligible for copyright protection. This makes good sense; neither the recipe nor the name Pechu Sandwich fits any of the…

Google Defeats Copyright Lawsuit Over Waze Data (Forbes Cross-Post)

Google Defeats Copyright Lawsuit Over Waze Data (Forbes Cross-Post)

The basic copyright rule is clear: facts are not copyrightable; factual compilations can be. However, this simple rule masks considerable nuance. What is a “fact,” how does it differ from “non-facts,” what does it mean to “compile” facts, and when…