No Grokster Opinion Today

The Grokster Watch continues–no opinion today. This releases the anxiety for today, but the anxiety hardly has gone away. My prediction on Grokster (if you came from the NY Times, this link leads to the referenced post). NY Times article…

New Reality TV Show IP Case

RDF Media Ltd. v. Fox Broadcasting Co., 74 USPQ2d 1769 (C.D. Cal. May 11, 2005) [BNA subscription required]. The producers of “Wife Swap UK” sued Fox for its “Trading Spouses” TV show, alleging copyright infringement and direct/contributory trade dress misappropriation….

Grokster Watch

So just about all of my professional peers are on a Grokster opinion watch. Unless something weird happens, the opinion should come out either this Monday (June 20) or next (June 27). As this Monday grows closer, our collective anxiety…

Public Domain Enhancement Act (HR 2408)

I’m a little late catching this, but Rep. Lofgren has introduced the Public Domain Enhancement Act (HR 2408). The law would require copyright owners to pay $1 after 50 years (and each 10 years thereafter) to maintain their copyright; otherwise,…

Wal-Mart Won’t Print Photos If They Are Too Good

Because copyright is a strict liability tort, “photofinishers” who print photos (like Wal-Mart and Kmart) can be liable if the customer asks to print photos owned by third parties. As a result, photofinishers are now bouncing photos that look professional…

Judge Patel: Maintaining An Index of Downloadable Files is Not “Distributing” the Files

By John Ottaviani Although there was some confusion over Judge Patel’s May 11th ruling in the Napster investor litigation, her May 31 ruling leaves no doubt that the Section 106(3) distribution right is not infringed merely by maintaining an index…

BitTorrent Bust and the ART Act

A few days ago the Feds busted the Elite Torrents, who were warez traders using BitTorrent. The target: sites trading the Revenge of the Sith. The timing of this makes me wonder–is the passage of the ART Act, reinforcing criminal…

Madison on Creative Commons

Mike Madison provides a thoughtful post on why some copyright owners might resist Creative Commons. UPDATE: John Dvorak writes a powerful critique of Creative Commons. Some of John’s arguments are wrong as a matter of law, but his points are…

Revenge of the MPAA — First Test for the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act?

(Eric Goldman is travelling and lecturing until June 13, and will be able to post only occasionally during this time. In his absence, John Ottaviani will continue to guest-blog from time to time.) The media has been reporting the availability…

New Ruling From Judge Patel in Napster Investor Suit

By John Ottaviani There’s been some discussion and misconceptions about Judge Patel’s latest ruling in the long-running Napster saga. Although her May 11 order has been described as holding that the Section 106(3) distribution right does not extend to maintaining…