Category Archives: Copyright

Why deleting your Pinterest boards over copyright concerns is an overreaction

Kirsten Kowalski of DDK Portraits wrote a blog post about why she  “tearfully” took down her Pinterest boards. The reason she gave was her concern over copyright infringement and the liability she felt she had opened up. Her blog post went viral, including an article on the ABA Journal about it, in part (I believe) […]

The iBooks Author EULA does not create an exclusive license, and doesn’t steal your copyright

This is a follow up to my previous post on the iBooks Author End User License Agreement (EULA) and what it actually means. Rather than posting an update to that post, I decided to follow it up with a simple breakdown of why all of the people who believe the EULA takes away (or tries […]

The iBooks Author EULA: What does it really mean?

Apple has announced iBooks Author—a new program that makes it easy for anyone to create stunning and compelling eBooks. The End User License, however, restricts anything made with iBooks Author to distribution on Apple’s channels unless you give the book away for free. NOTE: You can read a follow-up to this post outlining in more […]

Photography Copyright, Rihanna, and why we need a bright-line rule

David LaChappelle, a photographer, sued Rihanna over a music video Mr. LaChappelle claims violates his copyrights in a series of photos featuring bondage and sado masochism. Techdirt has discussed the case, both when it was first filed and after a motion to dismiss was denied, and has pointed out that LaChappelle’s claims should run afoul […]

Copyright & Trademark: A primer on their differences

There is a lively discussion on the differences between copyright and trademark law in the comments to a Techdirt article. Copyright and trademark law are often confused, and this is by both lawyers and non-lawyers. (We lawyers call them ‘lay-people.’) I’ve even see a lawyer confuse the DMCA takedown process and issue a takedown letter […]

Why Apple’s new iTunes Match service cannot be used to chase down music pirates

Ars Technica has an article about whether iTunes’ new iCloud features will be used to chase down music pirates. Some lawyers and academics writing about this might hedge their comments with conditions and exceptions. I won’t. No, iTunes’ new iCloud match features cannot and will not be used to chase down music pirates. (And Ars […]

How Auto-Tune the News made me look at the DMCA and copyright law

My 18-month old daughter and I watch Auto-Tune the News on our AppleTV in the mornings while her mother prepares her daycare bag and I try to function pre-coffee. One morning we clicked on AutoTune the News and nothing came up except an error. My lawyer brain immediately thought of fears that a DMCA takedown […]

Protecting Reviewers: Why review sites are limited in their defense of reviewers

Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica writes that review websites like “could do more” to protect their reviewers from bogus DMCA claims made against their reviews.  “For example,” Mr. Lee goes on, “Yelp could have offered to represent [the reviewer], or even filed for a declaratory judgment that [the reviewer's] post was not an […]

Can you steal the idea for a product or service?

The Telegraph has an article about claims that the founders of the Huffington Post ‘stole’ the blueprint for the popular website.  Can you ‘steal’ an idea, be it for a product or a service? On some level this questions appears to ridiculous.  The Huffington Post, for example, is modeled after many community sites before it, […]

What’s the point of the DMCA if I have to keep taking down content?

Infringing copyright content isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes people try and abuse copyright law to silence critics or competition. Sometimes there is a genuine dispute over what elements of a work are copyrightable. One of the complaints about the DMCA’s notice provisions is that it chills free speech and harms folks by reversing the […]