Author: Jackson Abbeduto

Court sorts out rights tiff in a mod, mod world

U.S. judge denies summary judgment in video gaming dispute, in which he dissects unitary vs. collective works and their implications for copyright, infringement claims With a cast of characters rivaling a Tolstoy novel, and almost as many iterations and spin-offs as Pride and Prejudice, a recent video game dispute involving modification or modding has come down to concepts that underlie a good old-fashioned night at the movies. These led U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer in San Francisco to deny summary judgment in a suit by video game maker uCool against distributor Valve for copyright infringement of its characters. (A tip of the hat...

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Shooter’s infringement claim fails to develop

Art student, school find fair-use shield for photo used in class assignment and posted on Flickr Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst. These artists, and many others, have famously exploited existing images in their own works. While such “appropriation” operates in a gray area of copyright law, iconoclastic pop-artists remain undeterred.  And as aspirants follow their role models, it’s unsurprising that challenges arise—notably and recently in an an art class at the Watkins Institute. Students at the Nashville school were given photos and asked to create a mock product ad. So, très, Warhol, right, and are legal eagles already seeing the...

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A writers’ strike averted, troubling trends pers

When Hollywood gets the sniffles, its lawyers can feel like they’re suffering a major bout of pneumonia. So there was good reason for the collective exhale by many in the industry in recent days as the Writer’s Guild of America—the union to which all working screenwriters are required to belong—reached a contract deal with the studios. A potentially punishing strike was avoided. Productions continue. The disputing parties didn’t get all each wanted. But did the entertainment business just whistle past some current economic concerns  to kick down the path some big, longer-term issues? As audiences confront increasing programming choices and their entertainment...

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‘Blurred Lines’ and a + path for ‘Photograph’

A costly infringement case may be pushing songwriters to consider legal options, adding credits and sharing royalties rather than litigating. Is it stifling creativity, too? Have legal concerns grown so Thicke that songwriters find it’s easier now to just get Happy and + colleagues who seek credit because their works sound sort of similar? Ed Sheeran—the singer, songwriter, actor, guitarist, and record producer—may have sent the music industry a strong message with his recent settlement of a copyright infringement suit over his hit song Photograph. In answer to 2016 claims by songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard that they should be awarded $20 million from him because they say his song infringed on their composition Amazing (as recorded by Matt Cardle, the 2010 winner of The X Factor reality series), Sheeran, legendary for his mathematically signed albums, effectively replied: —  . He then apparently decided not to be ÷, and to just × the number of folks credited on his tune. What’s going on—and was this part of a potentially −legal trend? Let’s get to the √ of this music industry development. Sharing credit Songwriting credits are industry gold, determined in differing fashion but determinate in vital concerns ranging from royalties’ divisions to tax payments. They’re key, of course, in copyrights, so musicians and their representatives, especially their agents and attorneys, typically try to ensure everything’s straight with the credits early on. Sheeran’s Photograph, which he first said he wrote with...

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Oh, no, you don’t: Infringement claims revived

Appellate judges say trial, facts needed to determine if web service’s claim for ‘safe harbor’ undone by ‘volunteers’ moderating celebrity content Celebrity content has sprouted online on gossipy sites like spring wildflowers after California’s heavy winter rains. But will the courts douse the untrammeled enthusiasms for these enterprises by finding that businesses that host and support such web venues may have limits to “safe harbors” they might seek from infringement claims in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has fired a warning shot to online service providers about the limits of their...

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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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