Category Archives: Intellectual property

Asked & Answered: The Wizard of Oz and the public domain.

An anonymous viewer asks whether the producers of “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, scheduled for release in 2012 needed to make an arrangement with the copyright holders for “The Wizard of Oz”, or whether a loosely based “homage” can be done without copyright clearance   My Answer:   AUDIO: Continue Reading

3 Reasons why copyright registration is important for all kinds of documents

Copyright registration is increasingly important for all types of businesses and all types of documents. it’s not just about media content. Companies and individuals should consider registering their copyrights in all kinds of documents they may consider valuable. Sales presentations and info sheets can be easily lifted by competitors, and without a registered copyright, the… Continue Reading

Asked & Answered: Copyright duration and the public domain.

Q: If 1977 is the dividing line for copyright laws, is it possible to, say, erase all challenging doubts by merging two pre-1977 stories and create an entirely new work? Such as, say, LITTLE WOMEN (1800s) meets the rogue PAL JOEY (1940). Or must one check to see if Louisa Mae Olcott’s estate still has… Continue Reading

What's the REDBOX flap really about?

Well, money, of course.  Here’s the background: Redbox is a company that provides $1 DVD rentals through kiosks set up in local supermarkets and other convenient locations.  You’ve probably seen the large red kiosks standing next to the Coinstar machines, lottery ticket vending machines, and Rug-Doctor rental stands. Redbox purchases the DVDs it sells through… Continue Reading

P.R.O.s continue policy of suing bars and Restaurants. Are your licenses in place?

As  I blogged  here last December,  Performance Rights Organizations like ASCAP and BMI continue their policy of pursuing legal action against bars and restaurants that play music without proper licensing.  The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog has a piece today, that reminds us of the policy.  Earlier this week,  BMI filed a suit against a restaurant… Continue Reading

Copyright Registration and other fees increase August 1st

Everybody knows that copyright registration is important, and that doing so in a timely fashion can provide a copyright owner a greater award in an infringement suit. With the current backlog of registrations in the Copyright office, it’s especially important to get your works into the que for registration as soon as possible. The agency… Continue Reading

On Domain Names, squatters and new show titles.

One of my favorite blogs is Ken Davenport’s PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE. Ken has posted an insightful piece about cyber-squatters and the need to register your show’s domain name(s) early. The article is titled: Got an idea for a show? Here’s the first thing you should do. This is among the first recommendations I make to any… Continue Reading

Court grants summary judgement over failed copyright transfer.

A ruling in American Plastic Equipment, Inc. v. Toytrackerz, LLC, 2009 WL 902422 (D. Kan. 2009) reminds us that under Section 204 of the Copyright Act, any transfer of copyright must be in a written instrument by the owner. The case involved copyright in eleven Marx action figures that had, after a number of transfers… Continue Reading

The YouTube plot thickens…

Further follow up to my post on Wednesday regarding YouTube’s automated audio-muting of user-generated videos containing unlicensed music….. According to this piece at the Hollywood Reporter.. YouTube is taking things a step further… allowing users to REPLACE offending music in video soundtracks with pre-cleared music….  (automatically?) I ask you again…  does this kind of filtering… Continue Reading

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