Articles/News

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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Jul 6 2016

Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys Wrap Up $14 Million Settlement in “Happy Birthday to You” Class Action Lawsuit

OAKLAND, Calif., JUNE 27, 2016 – It’s official! Sing it loud, sing it proud, and sing it for free, knowing that you won’t get hit up for royalties. The world’s most famous song, “Happy Birthday to You,” is now in the public domain thanks in large part to Donahue Fitzgerald LLP Partners Andrew MacKay and […]

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Jul 6 2016

Domain Name Enforcement

Donahue Fitzgerald LLP’s Domain Name Enforcement Program has an impressive track record of stopping this cybertheft. Our law firm has efficiently handled thousands of domain name matters to protect our clients’ valuable trademarks.The Domain Name Enforcement Program monitors existing and new domain name registrations for infringing domains.  We watch not only for domains that incorporate […]

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Jul 6 2016

Copyright Registration: The Best Remedy For Infringement

It is true that, under U.S. copyright law, a copyright emerges automatically when a creative work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” (e.g., when a person records an original song or writes source code for a computer program, the creative work is “fixed” and a copyright emerges automatically). The ability to obtain a […]

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Jul 5 2016

Workplace Email Policies

You are a manager or owner of a small company, which has just been sued by a former employee for sexual harassment, retaliation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Company employees each have access to a networked company computer for which they have their own private passwords. In investigating, you discover that, […]

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