Supreme Court to Review Copyright Statute Relating to Inaccurate Information Provided to Copyright Office

By Zachary Schroeder and Jacob C. Jones On June 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, LP.  The Court agreed to resolve whether 17 U.S.C. § 411(b) requires a district court to refer a matter to the Copyright Office where there is a claim the copyright registration holder made a knowing misrepresentation to the Copyright office in obtaining the registration, but there is no indicia of fraud or material error by the copyright holder.  H&M has asked the Court to interpret the statute as requiring referral merely upon a showing of   Read More »

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Led Zeppelin Ruling Overturns Ninth Circuit’s ‘Inverse Ratio Rule’

By Shalayne L. Pillar and David G. Barker On March 9, 2020, Led Zeppelin won a major copyright battle over claims that they stole part of their signature song “Stairway to Heaven.”  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling en banc, upheld a 2016 jury verdict that cleared the band of infringing a 1967 instrumental ballad titled “Taurus” by the band Spirit.  The ruling overturned a 2018 decision by a panel of three Ninth Circuit judges that held the trial judge failed to inform jurors that unprotectable elements could be protected by copyright law when arranged in creative ways (see   Read More »

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Supreme Court Copyright Decision Indicates Greater Proactivity by Would-Be Infringement Plaintiffs

Supreme Court Copyright Decision Indicates Greater Proactivity by Would-Be Infringement Plaintiffs

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SCOTUS: “Full Costs” Are Just Costs

By Mark Webb and David G. Barker Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Rimini Street v. Oracle USA that  “full costs” described in 17 U.S.C. § 505 of the (Copyright Act) are limited to the six categories of taxable costs set forth in 28 U.S.C.  §§ 1821, 1920. The decision reversed the district court’s award of, and the Ninth Circuit’s order affirming, $12,774,550.26 in additional costs to Oracle for litigation costs outside of those delineated in §§ 1821 and 1920, such as expert witnesses, e-discovery, and jury consulting. The Court determined, absent an explicit statutory instruction, a   Read More »

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Digital Music File Resales Infringe Record Labels’ Copyrights

By Anne Bolamperti and David G. Barker On December 12, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s ruling favoring several major record company plaintiffs in a copyright infringement case against a digital music resale site.  Defendant ReDigi, Inc. resells digital music files on the Internet.  ReDigi permits individuals who purchase digital music files from iTunes to install ReDigi’s “Music Manager” software, which analyzes the files to determine whether they are lawful purchases.  If so, the seller then transfers the eligible files to ReDigi’s remote server, after which ReDigi breaks the music into packets, makes a temporary copy   Read More »

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