Category - Intellectual Property

Stories about receiving copyright protection and dealing with infringement

Monkey selfie
Intellectual Property

The Monkey Selfie: PETA Initiates Infringement Lawsuit for Macaque

The Internet is once again fixated on the infamous Monkey selfie, after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a copyright infringement suit against David Slater, the wildlife photographer who claims to hold the copyright.  For those that may not remember, here is how Art Law Journal described the monkey selfie story back in 2013: In 2011, nature photographer David Slater...

Mickey Mouse Copyright
Intellectual Property

Is Copyright Duration Too Long?

The United States has been waging a battle against several other countries over how long a copyrighted work should be protected.  Copyright duration has been one of the major sticking points in the massive free trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret between the U.S and eleven other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico...

Intellectual Property

Model Citizens and Protected Images: Work-for-Hire and Right of Publicity

Last week, we discussed model releases, and an example concerning a model whose image was being used by a company in a more liberal manner than what had originally been agreed upon by the model and the company. You may recall that in this instance, the model had signed a contract with a fashion company, as well as a model release with a photographer. We discussed the reasons why it’s...

Getting Model Release
Intellectual Property

Model Citizens: Protecting Images with a Model Release

Though the modeling industry is widely known as a grueling, cutthroat business with impossible standards of beauty and few chances for success, those models that do make the grade enjoy extremely lucrative careers. It’s no secret that Giselle banks more bucks than her football-tossing husband, despite Brady’s contract and endorsement deals. To the general public, it seems like very...

How Fast Fashion Retailers Built Billion-Dollar Businesses by Stealing Designs
Intellectual Property

How Fast Fashion Retailers Built Billion-Dollar Businesses by Stealing Designs

Design lovers and fashion darlings have long turned to fast fashion brands to supplement their wardrobes with pieces that are distinctly high fashion at a far lower price point. And when it comes to looking like you’ve stepped fresh off the pages of Style magazine, no one does it better than Zara, a company whose rapid expansion and emergence as one of the world’s major retailers has...

Popcorn Time
Intellectual Property

Popcorn Time’s Video Streaming Has It All, but Is It Legal?

Popcorn Time, a relatively new online movie streaming service, has just about all the media content you could want, from the latest movies to Amazon originals. the company has tripled its usage over the past 6 months, with enough users for Netflix to consider Popcorn Time a major competitor. One would think getting rid of an illegal service would be easy, but the way the software work, it will be...

Drone Photography Law
Intellectual Property

Why the FAA Drone Policies Are So Awful

Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fined Raphael Pirker $10,000 for flying a small Ritewing Zephyr, a remote controlled plane that retails for under $200. The fine was based on the careless or reckless operation of an “aircraft.” As we discussed in our article, The Law of Drone Photography, an administrative judge agreed with Pirker’s argument that his model plane was...

Eiffel Tower
Intellectual Property

Do Night Photos of the Eiffel Tower Violate Copyright?

A series of articles have been making their way around the Internet suggesting that taking photos of the Eiffel Tower at night could be a copyright infringement. Is this limitation real or hyperbole spewing from the overactive imaginations of the blogosphere? The answer depends on whether the Tower’s lighting is a copyrightable work of art or just a part of the structure. So before you allow the...

street art
Intellectual Property

6 Things You Must Know About Copyrights in Street Art

Artist’s rights in their street art, whether commissioned or guerrilla, has been in the news with some frequency lately, largely due to suits against American Eagle and Terry Gilliam. The slippery nature of copyright law has left many wondering where to draw the line between taking a photograph with street art in the background and taking a photo that infringes on a copyright. Unfortunately...

Angry Birds
Intellectual Property

Advice for Artists in a Contract Negotiation

Making a deal to bring an artist’s work to the wider world can be nerve-wracking especially during the contract negotiation phase when the artist is pitted against a team of corporate lawyers. Too often, the artist doesn’t have enough money to hire a legal team to fight for contract terms on his or her behalf. The result is a lopsided agreement that favors the corporation’s...