Court Manages To Get NBA2K Tattoo Copyright, Trademark Case Exactly Right

14 04 2020

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
April 1, 2020

Somehow, it’s been nearly four years since a tattoo company, Solid Oak Sketches, decided to sue 2K Sports, the studio behind the renowned NBA 2K franchise, claiming that the game’s faithful representation of several stars’ tattoos was copyright infringement. The company claimed to own the copyright on the design of several players’ tattoos, including most famously LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and DeAndre Jordan. The claim in the suit was that 2K’s faithful depiction of the players, whom had collectively licensed their likenesses via the NBAPA, somehow violated Solid Oak’s IP rights.

Put another way, it could be said that by branding the player with Solid Oak’s designs, the company seems to think it can control the players’ ability to profit off of their own likenesses. That this draws the mind to very uncomfortable historical parallels apparently was of no issue to Solid Oak.

Well, while 2K Sports failed to get the court to dismiss the case back in 2018, it has more recently won the case on summary judgement, with the court quite helpfully getting everything right and declaring the depiction of tattoos in video games in this manner to be Fair Use.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200401/11212244213/court-manages-to-get-nba2k-tattoo-copyright-trademark-case-exactly-right.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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7th Circuit Upholds Trademark ‘Fair Use’ Doctrine

14 04 2020

LexBlog
John Mueller
April 11, 2020

[ed: this is not a new media case. However, it clarifies aspects of fair use as they relate to trademark, so is included here]

In an August 2019 decision, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the earlier finding by the Northern District of Illinois of summary judgment that PepsiCo’s Gatorade division’s use of the phrase “Gatorade The Sports Fuel Company” on its Gatorade family of products did not infringe SportFuel Inc.’s SPORTFUEL trademark because the use of the “Sports Fuel” term by Gatorade was descriptive, not used in a source-indicative manner and thus a “fair use” of that term.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/04/11/7th-circuit-upholds-trademark-fair-use-doctrine/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.c

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Copyright Defenses When a Copyright Infringement Claim Gets Under Your Skin

10 04 2020

LexBlog
Joseph Grasser & Raisa Dyadkina
April 6, 2020

On March 26, a federal district court in New York held that the publishers of the popular NBA 2K videogame did not infringe on plaintiff’s tattoo copyrights when the publishers depicted those tattoos on basketball players in NBA 2K. The publishers, 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, were successful in asserting multiple copyright defenses, including implied license, fair use, and the rarely successful de minimis use.

The decision was issued in Solid Oak Sketches, LLC v. 2K Games, Inc., 1:16-CR-00724-LTS-SDA (S.D.N.Y. March 26, 2020). Solid Oak Sketches sued 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software (“Take-Two”) over the use of tattoo designs for which Solid Oak owned licenses. Solid Oak alleged copyright infringement based on Take-Two’s use of the tattoo designs, as depicted on three basketball players, in its NBA 2K videogames. However, the court ruled that Take-Two did not infringe on Solid Oak Sketches’s rights based on the three independent copyright defenses.

De Minimis Use Defense.

Implied License Defense.

Fair Use Defense.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/04/06/copyright-defenses-when-a-copyright-infringement-claim-gets-under-your-skin/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Musician Tries To Fix Copyright By Copyrighting All The Melodies

10 04 2020

LexBlog
Mike Willee
April 7, 2020

Music copyright has proven to be a tricky topic in recent years, given how readily available music is at present paired with the ability to take on alleged infringement, both through YouTube and in the courts. (Not that any court case would ever be considered easy.) The exponential growth in copyright cases within music is a matter of some debate and contention; some believe in the absolute ability of creators to protect their work from infringement, while others argue that influence and sampling are simply part of the art form, and that to take those away is to remove the ability for new artists to build upon what others have done, as they have for decades, if not centuries. It’s not an argument that looks to be resolved anytime soon, although one ambitious musician is seeking to short-circuit the issue entirely.

In an effort to put an end to music copyright claims altogether, musician Damien Ruehl, with the aid of programmer Noah Rubin, created an algorithm to compose, well, all of the music, or at least the melodies. As reported in The Independent, Ruehl and Rubin worked together to create the algorithm, which creates 300,000 melodies a second and 68 billion in total, with the aim of then copyrighting those melodies and then releasing them into the public domain.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/04/07/musician-tries-to-fix-copyright-by-copyrighting-all-the-melodies/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Oracle copied Amazon’s API—was that copyright infringement?

29 03 2020

ars technica
Charles Duan
January 3, 2020

Early this year, the Supreme Court will hear an important case that will determine the legal status of application programming interfaces under copyright law. If the high court sides with Oracle in its multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Google’s Android platform, it could stifle competition and entrench dominant technology firms—possibly including Google itself.

Oracle has accused Google of infringing copyright law by copying the API of the Java programming language. An API is essentially a language for instructing a computer on what to do. It includes a vocabulary of named commands tied to grammatical structures for how those commands are to be used. To cause Java software to perform pre-defined tasks, such as calculating a sine function or encrypting a message, a programmer must use those named commands and grammatical structures with precision, much in the same way that a Waffle House diner invokes exact code words like “scattered, smothered, chunked, and diced” to get a hash brown order correct.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/oracle-copied-amazons-api-was-that-copyright-infringement/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.co

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Can Application Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) Be Protected Under Copyright Law?

26 03 2020

LexBlog
Peggy Keene
February 4, 2020

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an incredibly important case between Oracle and Google regarding whether or not APIs can be protected under copyright law.

Oracle Accuses Google of Copying Java API, Claiming Copyright Infringement

In the case at hand, Oracle has accused Google of copying the API of Oracle’s Java programming language.  For those unfamiliar with the terminology, an API or “application programming interface” is basically the coding language that a computer relies on to execute tasks.  In other words, an API is the language that a computer relies on to know what to do.  Each API houses its own defined terms and vocabulary that includes named commands organized by grammatical structures that designate how the commands will be executed.

In this case, to execute or perform specific tasks using Java, a programmer must know “how to code in Java.” In other words, the programmer must know the predefined terms, commands, and specific grammatical structures unique to Java.

Oracle claims that the alleged copyright infringement occurred when Google copied the Java API commands wholesale in order to encourage programmers fluent in Java to program on Google’s Android operating system.  Oracle claims that Google knowingly reimplemented Java in order to entice programmers that were well-versed in Java into bringing their software and expertise to Google.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/02/04/can-application-programming-interfaces-apis-be-protected-under-copyright-law/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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

26 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
February 5, 2020

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 political spectrum. He created a 2 minute video called “SJW Levels of Awareness,” which consisted solely of 6 excerpts from Hughes’ video without any additional commentary. He posted this video to his channel, which contained other videos criticizing the Left, feminists, and Black Lives Matter. Hughes sent a takedown notice to YouTube, which YouTube honored. Benjamin counternoticed, which YouTube apparently honored as well. Hughes sued Benjamin for copyright infringement and a 512(f) violation due to his counternotice. The court dismisses both claims.

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Oracle Files Opening Brief at U.S. Supreme Court in Copyright Fight with Google

26 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Nancy Braman
February 14, 2020
In the latest stage of the Supreme Court battle between Oracle America, Inc. (Oracle) and Google, Oracle filed its opening brief with the Court on February 12. Google’s petition for a writ of certiorari was granted in November 2019 and asks the Court to consider: “1. Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface” and “2. Whether, as the jury found, petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.” The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) previously unanimously reversed a district court decision that held Oracle’s code as uncopyrightable, finding it well established that copyright protection for software programs can extend to both code and their structure or organization. Oracle is suing Google for $8.8 billion in lost revenue.
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Earth to Google: Here’s Why APIs Need to be Copyrightable

23 03 2020
IP Watchdog
Michael Shore
February 18, 2020
On January 6, 2020, Google submitted its brief in Google v. Oracle, kicking off the Supreme Court case that many are calling the “copyright case of the decade.” The suit pits the search engine platform controlling 93% of the worldwide search market against Oracle, the owner of the ubiquitous Java program, which submitted its response brief last week. After attempting and failing to secure the rights to Java, Google decided to cease negotiating and instead replicated 37 API packages from the copyrighted program, a decision that precipitated the years-long lawsuit.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/02/18/earth-google-heres-apis-need-copyrightable/id=118999/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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NFL Gets Shopify To Take Down Clear NY Jets Parody Merch Site With Trademark Complaint

23 03 2020

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
March 6, 2020

All regular readers here will need is to see a headline that includes both the word “trademark” and the NFL to get their eyes rolling. The NFL is notorious in its jealous protection of its intellectual property. In fact, the league goes much further than your everyday trademark bully, chiefly by pretending it has trademark rights that it absolutely does not have. This usually rears its head in the run up to the Super Bowl.

But the other game of pretend the NFL likes to play is one in which it pretends to not know that Fair Use exists. That can be seen most recently in the league going after a seller or parody NY Jets gear on his Shopify site, getting the whole store taken down by asserting trademark infringement.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200306/12173244051/nfl-gets-shopify-to-take-down-clear-ny-jets-parody-merch-site-with-trademark-complaint.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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