Month: February 2012

U.K. court takes a curious shot on copyright

An English court has ruled that photographing a scene that is “substantially similar” to a scene shot earlier can be an infringement of the first photographer’s copyright. The photos depict a similar but different scene and were taken in different places at different angles. Contrary to the common notion that ideas never can be copyrighted, the judge ruled that it was the idea of the photo that was copyrighted, not the photo itself. The problem with this ruling? Many photographers take pictures of the same objects or subjects at the same time. Consider the scrums of papparazzi or news pool photographers who shoot the prominent  or celebrities: Is it possible that this ruling would grant the photographer with the fastest shutter the exclusive right to a photo taken by many in a group? Many a forlorn photojournalist has stood, for example, on an airport tarmac or similar public place to record the emotional reunion of, say, a returning soldier, only to see his adjacent compatriot walk off with a top press prize for an image framed almost exactly but shot a millisecond later; no one has had the moxie to add injury to insult by asserting copyright infringement, too. This ruling also could send individuals with large archives of photos scurrying through their collections for possible infringement claims. This ruling also potentially could be extended to movies. Say a...

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Got $100 billion in bank? Buy Hollywood!

Assume for a moment all antitrust and anticompetition laws have been set aside. You have earned and  maintained the distinction as a leader at the forefront of the technology industry for more than 30 years. The reaches of your body of work are wide and far ranging, touching all aspects of the digital information age. Your success has resulted in liquid assets reaching $100 billion. What’s your next step? This not-so-hypothetical situation confronts Apple Inc., which after long trailing ExxonMobil, has dethroned the energy conglomerate to become the most valuable company in the world; the two companies have sparred back and forth for the distinction of having the highest market value.  As of Jan. 25, Apple regained the distinction, reaching a market cap of roughly $419 billion. And Apple reported holding nearly $100 billion in cash. That tidy banked sum has prompted TechCrunch to spur intriguing online speculation as to what the Cupertino company ought to do next and some are looking to history for either a brilliant path forward or a negative precedent: First, it would be helpful to get a little perspective on Apple’s cash stash: Google, another tech titan, closed last year with $44.6 billion in the bank; recent figures indicate that Facebook’s IPO has a valuation ranging from $75 billion to $100 billion. Acquisition of one or both of these companies could  be a coup for Apple, though BGC Analysis Colin...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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