Cindy Loo Who, post #2

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Last week, I wrote about a case involving How the Grinch Stole Christmas and a parody play that follows Cindy Loo Who later in life. Now a new post at the Trademark and Copyright Law blog reminded me of an important issue about fair use that I should address. That is, what is the difference between… Read more »

Cindy Loo Who’s day in court and off Broadway

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One of my favorite things about the holiday season is my annual viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Thurl Ravenscroft’s  voice on You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, combined with Dr. Seuss’s lyrics, makes it an all time classic, and not just great for Christmas music. So, when I read about a recent copyright lawsuit over a… Read more »

Some encouraging new work on open scholarship

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One common argument you’ll hear for open scholarship  is that by loosening copyright restrictions on scholarly works, we can in turn increase their impact. The argument here is pretty straightforward: if you make scholarly works more easily available, then people are more likely to use them in their own work. However, there hasn’t been much… Read more »

Jack Sparrow, a Copy!??! Whaaaa?

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Jack Sparrow, everyone’s favorite lovable scamp and star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is the subject of a new lawsuit, that claims he wasn’t Disney’s creation, but that of three other screenwriters. As the story goes, Arthur Alfred, Ezequiel Martinez, Jr., and Tova Laiter, submitted a screenplay entitled Pirates of the Caribbean to Disney in August… Read more »

HULK SMASH! HULK NOT DERIVATIVE!

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With today’s release of Thor: Ragnarok (a movie I’m quite excited about), I want to point out a case that implicates the copyright of any number of CG characters from movies like it. As reported in this story from The Hollywood Reporter, the owner of software that captures facial recognition used to create and animate characters like everyone’s favorite… Read more »

They’re coming to get you, Barbara

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In honor of Halloween, the excellent blog, Plagiarism Today (which I’ve referred to before), has a post recapping 8 stories it has published on copyright and horror movies. Each one is great — there’s a whole post about the Rocky Horror Picture Show and copyright law! sadly, though, it doesn’t address copyright protection for the… Read more »

Remembering Posner

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Though the name Richard Posner may not mean much to you, he is well known to lawyers and law students around the United States. Until suddenly retiring in September, Posner was for many years one of the most outspoken and influential judges in the country. In his books, scholarly articles, posts on Slate.com, and, of course, his judicial… Read more »

Music Licensing on YouTube

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As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, copyright over music is a little funny. For any single piece of music you hear, there are at least a couple of potential copyright holders to consider, as well as many different rights that are available to be licensed. In this video, Jonathan Bailey — from… Read more »

Monkey Selfie case: finished…. for now.

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A couple months ago, I wrote a post about a lawsuit involving PETA, a macaque, and a selfie. If you don’t recall, PETA argued on behalf of a primate named Naruto that a selfie the monkey took deserved copyright protection. At that time, PETA was appealing a ruling from the Northern District in California that… Read more »