Is Copyright Infringement “Theft”?

The BBC reports on a study that the British do not equate downloading copyright material with theft. The British have specifically rejected one of the standard analogies that downloading copyrighted music is just like shoplifting a CD of the music…

Copyright Office to Have “Public Roundtables” About Orphan Works

The Copyright Office has announced that it will have public roundtables to discuss orphan works in DC July 26-27 and Berkeley August 2. This is interesting because, after receiving almost 900 submissions regarding orphan works already, I would have thought…

Grokster Press Releases

The Grokster media frenzy has reached a fever pitch. Not only is the war of words taking over the mainstream press, but we’re seeing a bubble of activity in the press release databases. A couple of examples. Orrick’s Press Release…

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…