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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 4 posts in copyright.

How Much “Dune” You Know about Copyright?

A few months ago, an NFT group known as “Spice DAO” made the news for paying nearly $3 million at auction for a rare book of filmmaker Alexander Jodorowsky’s storyboards and concept art for a never-to-be-made adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel Dune—and announcing their plans to use their purchase to make and sell their own adaptations and derivative works as well as copies of the book itself in NFT form. Of course, buying a copy of a book, no matter how rare, does not grant you the copyright or license to its contents. A clear gaff to be sure, which is then heightened by the fact that the purchase was funded almost entirely by investors and fans of the Dune franchise. But if purchasing a creative work does not give you rights to reproduce it, what does? We’ve put together this quick quiz to help you figure out when you do—and don’t—own the rights to a piece of intellectual property covered under copyright law. More >

Two New Intellectual Property Laws Now in Effect – at Least in Theory

Posted In copyright, Intellectual Property, streaming

Two intellectual property (“IP”) pieces of legislation were tucked into Congress’ 2020 federal omnibus spending bill, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021,” and since it is now 2022, we thought it would be a good time to check in on those laws. The Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act (“the CASE Act”) was passed to create a small claims alternative for copyright disputes, and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act (“the PLSA”) was a new law that purportedly closed a loophole that has long frustrated copyright owners and law enforcement seeking to enforce piracy laws against illegal streamers of digital content. More >

Taylor Swift Knows Perils of Music Copyright Law “All Too Well”

Posted In contract, copyright, Intellectual Property

It’s likely that you’ve heard about pop star Taylor Swift re-recording her old albums. Just a few weeks ago, she released Red (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of her 2012 album Red. In April of this year, she released “Taylor’s Version” of her 2008 album Fearless. Why would a globally-known music star take the time out of her busy schedule to rehash her old music? The answer lies in the complex and little-understood realm of copyright law—and the issues that led to Swift’s undertaking are not only experienced by artists of her fame and status. More >

Court in Copyright Case: Don’t Embed That Tweet!

Posted In copyright, Intellectual Property

“When the Copyright Act was amended in 1976, the words “tweet,” “viral,” and “embed” invoked thoughts of a bird, a disease, and a reporter.” So begins the opinion of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in the case of Justin Goldman v. Breitbart News Network, et al, and it conveniently illustrates just how difficult it is to adapt copyright law to swiftly-changing technology.  The Goldman case, decided on February 15, 2018, is a prime example of how courts are grappling with this divide. The court scrapped an approach long-held in other courts about how copyright applies to photos shared on the internet in favor of a new rule that arguably provides more protection to copyright holders. More >

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