Photographer’s Suit Against Client for Republishing Photos on Facebook Proceeds – Davis v. Tampa Bay Arena

30 06 2012

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani with comments by Eric]

Davis v. Tampa Bay Arena, Ltd., 2012 WL 2116136 (M.D. Fla.; June 11, 2012)

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Davis worked from 1998 through 2011 (under various contract arrangements) for Tampa Bay Arena as the in-house photographer photographing events. (For what it’s worth, here’s what looks like Davis’ site.) Davis (smartly) retained ownership of the photographs and licensed them to the arena for limited uses. The agreement in place between the parties allowed for use by the arena in the following ways:

newsletter, advertising, display prints, broadcast, and the venue website.

The arena terminated its relationship with Davis in 2011 but continued to use his photographs. In early 2011, the arena created a Facebook page and posted Davis’ pictures on the page. Apparently Facebook had a feature that allowed users to download photographs at the click of a button, and this feature was available on the arena’s Facebook page. Davis asked the arena to remove the photographs from its Facebook page. The arena demurred, and Davis sued, asserting claims for infringement, conversion, and breach of contract.

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Mega-victory: Kim Dotcom search warrants “invalid,” mansion raid “illegal”

28 06 2012
On January 20, New Zealand police showed up in style at the mansion of flamboyant Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, swarming over the property and bringing along two police helicopters. They cut their way through locks and into the home’s “panic room,” where Dotcom was hiding in apparent fear of a kidnapping or robbery. They seized 18 luxury vehicles. They secured NZ$11 million in cash from bank accounts. And they grabbed a whopping 150 TB of data from Dotcom’s many digital devices.

“It was definitely not as simple as knocking at the front door,” said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald in a police press release at the time.

It was also totally illegal. That’s the ruling of New Zealand High Court judge Helen Winkelmann, who today ripped the “invalid” warrant and the subsequent search and seizure in a 56 page decision.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/mega-victory-kim-dotcom-search-warrants-invalid-mansion-raid-illegal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Fair use gets stronger—thanks, “What What (In the Butt)”

25 06 2012

Poor “What What (In the Butt).” Once nothing more than a bizarre 2007 music video posing the question “You want to do it in my butt, in my butt?,” it went viral, racking up more than 47 million YouTube views to date—until its creators got into a long-running lawsuit with the TV show South Park. That suit appeared to end earlier this month with a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which went out of its way to suggest that the video’s creators were starting to look like “copyright trolls.”

And the ill-considered case has actually turned out to do copyright law a bit of good by establishing that judges can make obvious “fair use” rulings early on in court proceedings, preventing litigants from simply running up the legal bill on the other side until they have to settle.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/fair-use-gets-stronger-thanks-what-what-in-the-butt/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Defining Tetris: How courts judge gaming clones

21 06 2012
The fact that it’s hard to tell which one is Tetris and which one is Mino bolstered the copyright infringement claim. 

 

 

Besides handling the rights and distribution for every official version of Tetris, The Tetris Company is also responsible for protecting the Tetris brand from unlicensed knock-offs. In the recent past, it’s done this by forcing platform holders like Apple to remove unofficial copies of the game from the iOS App Store as soon as they pop up, for instance.

But the company went a little further in the case of iPhone Tetris clone Mino, taking developer Xio Interactive to court to protect the Tetris copyright. A New Jersey circuit court judge recently ruled in favor of The Tetris Company in that case, issuing a ruling that highlights the legal challenges in determining what separates a hackneyed clone from a game that is merely “inspired” by an existing title.

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Oracle accepts $0 in damages from Google, moves toward appeal

21 06 2012

Oracle v. Google

Oracle has agreed to accept zero dollars worth of damages from Google, three weeks after losing the major portions of the case in which Oracle accused Google of violating Java patents and copyrights in Android.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/oracle-accepts-0-in-damages-from-google-moves-toward-appeal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Videogame App Developer Breaks the Rules on Copyright Infringement

20 06 2012

Desiree Golden, a recent college graduate, wanted to aim at the big money that can be made in app development. She decided to replicate the popular “Tetris” videogame that has been around since the late 1980s. After researching intellectual property law, she says, she set out to copy only those elements of the Tetris game that she believed were not protected by copyright – game rules and functionality.

If this general strategy sounds familiar, perhaps you have read our recent post on the Oracle v. Google dispute over Google’s use of Oracle’s Java technology in the Android operating system. In that case, the court ruled that Google had done it right, and that the rules and functionality of the Java technology that Google copied were not subject to copyright.

But in Tetris Holding, LLC v. Xio Interactive, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74463 (D.N.J. May 30, 2012), Judge Freda Wolfson ruled that Xio, Ms. Golden’s development company, got it wrong. By wholesale copying not only the rules and functionality of the original Tetris game but also its copyrightable expression, Xio’s“Mino” app crossed the line into copyright infringement. . . .

And so, for Mino, it’s game over.

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The content in this post was found at http://newmedialaw.proskauer.com/2012/06/19/videogame-app-developer-breaks-the-rules-on-copyright-infringement/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewMediaAndTechnologyLaw+%28New+Media+and+Technology+Law%29 and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



First Post-Viacom 512(c) Opinion Doesn’t Look Much Different–Obodai v. Demand Media

20 06 2012

By Eric Goldman

Obodai v. Demand Media, Inc., 2012 WL 2189740 (SDNY June 13, 2012)

This is the first substantive ruling I’ve seen interpreting the Second Circuit’s Viacom v. YouTube ruling. (The Viacom ruling was also discussed in the Ouellette case, but that was tangential to its main discussion). The good news is that the opinion looks pretty much like it would have looked before Viacom v. YouTube. The bad news is that the case was a layup victory against an outgunned pro se plaintiff (who is also unsuccessfully sued YouTube), so we don’t really learn much we didn’t know. The ugly news is that even at a comparatively svelte 17 pages, the opinion remains an unfortunately long read compared to brief and to-the-point Section 230 opinions.

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Recap of the Fourth Trademark Scholars Roundtable at DePaul University

19 06 2012

By Eric Goldman

In April, Graeme Dinwoodie and Mark Janis once again convened a roundtable of trademark law scholars to geek it out on trademark law. Group photo. This year’s theme was “trademark boundaries,” i.e., how trademark law abuts against other legal doctrines (such as copyright, patent or publicity rights) or no doctrines at all (a legally unregulated zone). As usual, Mark Lemley provided a helpful recap of our discussion:

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CP Productions v. John Doe – Motion to Subpoena Internet Service Providers

16 06 2012

For those following the CP Productions v. John Doe BitTorrent lawsuit filed recently in the Southern District of Indiana, I thought I’d detail the first steps in the Plaintiff’s litigation strategy.

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The content in this post was found at http://indianaintellectualproperty.com/2012/06/15/cp-productions-v-john-doe-motion-to-subpoena-internet-service-providers/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Patent granted to encourage purchase of digital textbooks

12 06 2012

In a newly-approved patent, an economics professor hopes to bring to the academic publishing world what seems to be forthcoming in the video game industry—new restrictions that would seemingly eliminate a secondary market for digital goods and prevent legal borrowing.

Last week, the 2006 patent for a “Web-based system and method to capture and distribute royalties for access to copyrighted academic texts by preventing unauthorized access to discussion boards associated with copyrighted academic works” was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent was granted to Joseph Henry Vogel, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/patent-granted-to-encourage-purchase-of-digital-textbooks/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.