Music Modernization Act to Reform Copyright Law with Regard to Streaming Music Services

By Rachael Peters Pugel and David G. Barker Last week, President Trump signed into law the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. The Act modifies existing law under the Copyright Act, and largely affects only those who deliver digital music content or collect royalty payments from it. The Act, which was passed unanimously by the Senate and the House—an occurrence which has become seemingly more rare—modernizes copyright law, specifically with regard to how royalties are paid, to account for the rise in popularity of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. The Act creates a newly established   Read More »

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Sick Again

Sick Again

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Supreme Court to Determine “Full Costs” Under Copyright Act

By Mark K. Webb and David G. Barker Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Oracle USA v. Rimini Street to resolve a split among the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals concerning costs awarded to a prevailing party under the Copyright Act. The Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits permit an award of “full costs” under 17 U.S.C. § 505 (Copyright Act) that is not limited by the six categories of taxable costs under 28 U.S.C.  § 1920. The Eighth and Eleventh Circuits do not permit additional costs, because the “full costs” language does not “clearly,”   Read More »

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SCOTUS to Consider Copyright Registration Circuit Split

By Peter R. Montecuollo and David G. Barker The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Fourth Estate Public Benefit v. Wall-Street.com to resolve a long-standing split among the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals concerning whether copyright owners must wait to file infringement suits until the United States Copyright Office has registered their works.  For instance, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits apply the “application approach,” which permits copyright owners to file infringement suits once upon applying for copyright registration.  Other circuits, including the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, apply the “registration approach.”  In those circuits, failure to secure   Read More »

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Billions Once Again on the Line After Federal Circuit’s Reversal in Oracle v. Google

By Rachael Peters Pugel and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit has reversed, for the second time, the much-followed copyright infringement case, Oracle America, Inc. v. Google LLC, which has been ongoing since 2010.  Oracle filed suit alleging Google copied and used 37 packages of Oracle’s Java application programming interface (“API”), as well as the structure, sequence, and organization (“SSO”) of those API packages, in its Android smartphone platform. Google and Oracle’s predecessor, Sun, began discussing Google’s licensing of the Java platform for mobile devices in 2005.  But the parties were unable to come to an agreement.  Google then worked   Read More »

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