Videogame Can Replicate Musician's "Signature Move" (Unless It's a False Endorsement, Which It Isn't)--Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Videogame Can Replicate Musician’s “Signature Move” (Unless It’s a False Endorsement, Which It Isn’t)–Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Pellegrino is a saxophone player with “externally rotatable feet,” which has helped him develop a nifty “signature” dance move while playing. The videogame Fortnite sells “emotes,” optional customizations for players’ digital avatars. Pellegrino alleges that the “Phone It In” emote…

Videogame Doesn't Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players--Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

Videogame Doesn’t Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players–Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

This case deals with a venerable and vexing copyright law problem: if a person doesn’t own the copyright to his/her tattoos, do other people infringe by accurately depicting the person? The answer surely has to be “no.” Otherwise, ordinary daily…

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination--Mishiyev v. Alphabet

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination–Mishiyev v. Alphabet

Mishiyev, a/k/a “DJ Short-e,” is a YouTuber who claims he had 100M+ views and 250k subscribers. His videos started getting copyright complaints in 2016. He counternoticed those, but he claims he nevertheless saw traffic dropoffs and started making demands of…

Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh....--Bell v. Chicago Cubs

Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh….–Bell v. Chicago Cubs

Bell authored a book called “Winning Isn’t Normal.” He got a copyright registration for the book and a separate registration for a 241 word passage from the book (I won’t include that passage here for reasons that soon will be…

Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)--Hughes v. Benjamin

Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin

Hughes is a YouTuber. She made a 10 minute video of Hillary Clinton’s election night party called “We Thought She Would Win” and posted it to her channel. Benjamin also is a YouTuber, but on the opposite end of the…

A Blog's RSS Feed May Not Grant an Implied Copyright License--MidlevelU v. Newstex

A Blog’s RSS Feed May Not Grant an Implied Copyright License–MidlevelU v. Newstex

MidlevelU publishes a blog on nursing topics. Like most blogs, it contains an RSS feed. Newstex subscribed to the RSS feed and republished the blog posts as part of its now-defunct subscription service called “Scholarly Blog Index.” MidlevelU sued Newstex…

Top Internet Law Developments of 2019

Top Internet Law Developments of 2019

It’s increasingly hard to find good news in Internet law, so I organized this year’s Internet Law roundup by categories of doom. Trigger warning: you should grab some tissues before proceeding. Doomed (in a Bad Way) Doomed: User-Generated Content. It…

Java API Classes as Fictional Characters―A Proposal for Google v. Oracle (Guest Blog Post)

Java API Classes as Fictional Characters―A Proposal for Google v. Oracle (Guest Blog Post)

by Marketa Trimble In disputes over the copyrightability of computer programs and their elements, it is common to invoke analogies from literature. In Google v. Oracle (in which the U.S. Supreme Court granted a cert petition on November 15, 2019), Oracle began…

Internet Access Provider Gets Another Devastating Result in a Secondary Copyright Infringement Case—Sony v. Cox

Internet Access Provider Gets Another Devastating Result in a Secondary Copyright Infringement Case—Sony v. Cox

In a recent post, I lamented how courts are exposing IAPs to secondary copyright liability for their subscribers’ activities. This is the result of a breakdown in the détente associated with the failed Copyright Alert System, and its demise has…

Copyright, State Sovereignty, and Pirates: Some Thoughts on Oral Argument in Allen v. Cooper (Guest Blog Post)

Copyright, State Sovereignty, and Pirates: Some Thoughts on Oral Argument in Allen v. Cooper (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Glynn Lunney, Texas A&M Law School When our country was founded, one of the central issues was how much of their sovereignty the states would cede to the new federal government and how much they would retain…