Articles/News

Jul 7 2016

Copyright Registration

The importance of registering creative works with the U.S. Copyright Office cannot be overstated. Registration generally is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement, and copyright holders may only recover federally prescribed statutory damages and recovery of full costs, including attorney’s fees, if registration occurs within established time frames. Those statutory damages range […]

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Jul 7 2016

A Smoking Gun in the Case of Who Owns ‘Happy Birthday to You’

KQED’s Cy Musiker interviews Donahue Fitzgerald attorney Daniel Schacht and his client, Rupa Marya, about the Happy Birthday To You class action lawsuit. Schacht explains the copyright issues of the Happy Birthday To You‬ ‪class action lawsuit, which has captured the world’s attention. In the interview he points to a songbook published in the early […]

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Jul 7 2016

Why Louboutin Matters: What Red Soles Teach Us About the Strategy of Trade Dress Protection

When Yves Saint Laurent created an overall red women’s high heeled shoe with red uppers, red platform heels and red soles, to Louboutin this was trademark infringement and the retailer sought to enforce its trademark in U.S. and European courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found the brand’s trademark consisted in […]

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Jul 7 2016

Who’s Using Your Parked Domain?

If your business is a typical one, you probably own many iterations of your trade name as domain names. For example, you may own ABC Company, so you bought “abc-company.com” and “abc-company.biz” as well as “abc-company.net” and “abc-company.info”. Or you might have purchased domains filled with different punctuation or even typos, to ensure that no […]

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Jul 6 2016

Urban Legends of Copyright Law

Do you believe that if you just mail yourself a copy of the character you created you will receive complete copyright protection under federal law and the international treaties to which the U.S. belongs? Or that if you would like to use some music to go with your animation, you can use any song you’ve […]

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Jul 6 2016

Trademark Owners Can Block the Adult Entertainment Industry’s Use of Their Marks as Domain Names

Only individuals and businesses operating in or serving the adult entertainment industry will be permitted to register .XXX domains. However, many non-adult oriented businesses have expressed concern about the possibility of members of this sponsored community registering their trademarks in the triple-X domain, resulting in a new domain of trademark.xxx. In order to address this […]

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Jul 6 2016

Pop Music and the Wonky World of Webcasting

Coinciding with this pop music trend, and highlighting the legal distinction between online music services, the federal Copyright Royalty Board (a three member federal judge panel, the “CRB”) released the full text of its webcasting determination in February 2016, which establishes new rates that non-interactive webcasters like Pandora must pay to stream songs over the […]

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Jul 6 2016

Oh, Happy Day: Happy Birthday Enters the Public Domain

Intellectual property attorney and litigator, Andrew MacKay was interviewed by Nancy Weingartner for this article in the Franchise Times. The article explains, now that a judge has ruled ‘Happy Birthday To You’ is in the public domain, franchise restaurateurs may stop singing alternative versions of the song, if they choose to do so. Until the class […]

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Jul 6 2016

ICANN Approves Sweeping Change to Domain Name Policies

Previously, there were only 22 gTLDs, including the familiar .com, .net and .org used by most businesses. In addition, there are a few hundred country code top level domains, such as the United Kingdom’s .uk, Japan’s .jp and Germany’s .de. ICANN’s decision opens the door for any qualified entity to create its own top-level domain, which […]

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Jul 6 2016

‘Happy Birthday’ Suit Resolved: The Most-Sung Song Is Free for All

UC Berkeley School of Law Alumni Daniel Schacht and Andrew MacKay spoke to Andy Gilbert about the ‘Happy Birthday To You’ class action lawsuit for this article published in California Magazine.  Schacht recounts the story of how he heard a podcast by law professor Robert Brauneis about ‘Happy Birthday To You’ making two points, (1) the […]

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