Recently in Copyright Category

Updates: Punishments for Music Copyright Infringers

Thomas-Rasset faces million-dollar damages; judge shuts down LimeWire

Righthaven pursues bloggers and other Internet users who republish content

In a decision that could have sweeping implications for copyright law, a federal judge in New York ruled on June 23, 2010 in favor of Google, which owns YouTube, dismissing a $1 billion lawsuit in which the film and television company Viacom alleged widespread copyright infringement by the popular video-sharing website.

News Media Seek Legal Tools to Protect Original Content

Battle Lines Drawn in 'Hot News' and Copyright Lawsuits

Legal battles continue between traditional news producers and online sources like blogs and so-called news aggregators, which take original content and republish it without payment or attribution to the original source. Copyright law—and particularly "hot news" claims—have been at the forefront of the issue.

The scandal surrounding Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest and guilty plea on disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport restroom led some to raise ethics questions about media coverage of politicians’ personal lives.

Music Industry Wins First Internet Piracy Case

Single Mother Will Appeal $222,000 Verdict

A jury levied a $222,000 fine against a Brainerd, Minn. woman on Oct. 5, 2007 in the first-ever trial over the downloading and sharing of copyrighted music. However, some say the high-priced verdict is unlikely to discourage more downloading.

Artists Challenge Copyright Extension Law

A recent decision in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals may have provided a reprieve for artists, musical conductors, and educators affected by two federal statutes passed in the 1990s which extended copyright protection to works formerly in the public domain and resulted in hefty rental fees.

New State Legislation Protects Dead Celebrities' Rights

On Oct. 10, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law 2007 Cal. Stat. ch 439, otherwise known as the “Dead Celebrities Bill.” The new law broadens California’s existing protections for the right to publicity, a legal principle that allows a person whose identity has commercial value to control the manner in which the person’s name or image is marketed.

In December 2007, a federal district court judge in Los Angeles held a Web site that facilitates the online downloading and exchange of copyrighted movies, television shows, and music liable for copyright infringement in a suit brought by six member studios of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

A May 5, 2008 ruling by Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California placed a permanent injunction on file sharing Web site TorrentSpy, and awarded the plaintiff motion picture studios statutory damages of $110,970,000 – or $30,000 each for 3,699 infringements – plus court costs.

The Associated Press’ (AP) most recent attempt to protect its news content from online copyright infringement created an uproar in the blogosphere.

Colleges and universities reported a surge in copyright infringement notices from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in spring 2008 amid increasing criticism of the association’s methods of attacking online piracy. Meanwhile, Congress reauthorized a law that will require colleges and universities to take action to prevent students from engaging in illegal file sharing and punish those who do.

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