Category Archives: Copyright

“Left Shark” Replica Vendor has Perry’s Attorneys Circling

On Wednesday, February 4, Katy Perry’s attorneys preyed on an Orlando-based 3-D printer who allegedly infringed Perry’s copyrights by printing and selling replicas of the internet-famous “Left Shark” from her halftime show performance at this year’s Super Bowl. Fernando Sosa is a 3-D artwork printer who normally creates controversial political pieces for sale and distribution.  After the dancing “Left Shark” from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show became an overnight  media sensation, even being named  Super Bowl MVP by SB Nation, Sosa…

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“Blurred Lines” Copyright Lawsuit Jury Barred from Listening to Original “Got To Give It Up”

Despite the alleged similarities between Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s 1977 “Got To Give It Up,” the jury sitting in the copyright infringement suit will not hear the original recording of the song at all.  On January 26, U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt in a pre-trial hearing ruled that the actual sound recording of the 1977 hit would be barred. Judge Krondstadt ruled because Gaye’s performance in the original recording is not at issue, allowing interpretations of the musical…

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Tom Petty Receives Writing Credit for “Stay With Me;” Sam Smith Claims it Coincidence

Over the weekend, it was reported that Grammy-nominated recording artist, Sam Smith, agreed last year to a settlement with Tom Petty over a copyright dispute with Smith’s song “Stay With Me.” Sam Smith’s three time Grammy nominated hit single “Stay With Me” released last year, has drawn considerable attention for its catchy melody over the last year.  It has also received considerable attention for that melody’s unmistakable similarity to Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” The clear similarity raised between the songs raised…

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Photographer Claims Infringement by Nike on ‘Jumpman’ Logo

On Thursday, January 22, a professional photographer filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Nike Inc. for their alleged excessive use of his iconic photograph of a mid-air Michael Jordan, which ultimately became the “Jumpman” logo. In 1984, professional photographer, Jacobus Rentmeester,  held a photo-shoot of Michael Jordan on the University of North Carolina campus for an up-coming LIFE magazine issue.  At that photo-shoot, he captured one of the most well-known images in both sports and fashion.  Rentmeester’s lawsuit claims Nike paid $150 for…

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Beastie Boys Want to Avoid Pyrrhic Victory, Ask For $2.4 Million from Monster

Over the weekend, the Beastie Boys filed with the SDNY, seeking $2.4 million in legal fees from Monster Energy to pay for their recent copyright infringement litigation. In June, the world-renowned rap group won $1.7 million in a lawsuit against Monster Energy.  The Beasties claimed, and Monster admitted during trial, that the energy drink producer used five of their songs without authorization in an online marketing video.  The $1.7 million awarded, however, is not enough to cover the extensive legal fees that the band accumulated…

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Universal Sues Companies for Selling Prison Mix Tape “Contraband”

On Tuesday, January 6, Universal Music Group turned its eye back toward the fight against music piracy by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Central District of California against companies compiling mix tapes for prisoners. Centric Group and its subsidiary Keefe Group, the named defendants in the suit, are companies that put together “care packages” for prison inmates.  The companies have set up a website through which customers can pay the companies to put together packages for delivery to relatives in jail.  One popular…

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Pistol Pete Lawsuit Put to Pasture

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, Oklahoma State University and New Mexico State University defuse their duel over the classic ‘Pistol Pete’  mascot with a nominal licensing agreement. OSU originally brought the copyright infringement lawsuit back in October, protecting its 80 year old trademark from the similar-looking classic NMSU logo.  In 2005, NMSU began to phase out the classic logo in favor of a widely unaccepted, but modernized ‘Lasso Larry.’  The New Mexico State Aggies now use an updated version of  a pistol-toting cowboy that avoids…

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Sampling Not Palpable in “Run This Town” According to Judge

On Thursday, November 13, Jay-Z’s copyright infringement litigation load  lightened up as District Judge Kaplan for the Southern District of New York  filed an Order seemingly favoring Jay-Z. This good news comes just over a week after yet another federal lawsuit was filed against Jay-Z for allegedly stealing a song, “Made in America.”  In this dispute, Jay-Z is being accused of sampling the song  “Hook & Sling Part 1” in his 2009 hit “Run this Town.”  The Judge’s order states that after several listens, the…

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Man Sues Jay Z and Kanye for Stealing “Made in America”

A musician named Joel Mac filed a copyright infringement suit in New York federal court, claiming that the hip-hop musicians Jay Z, Kanye, and Frank Ocean stole his song. According to the complaint, Mac allegedly sold a CD containing his 2009 song titled “Made in America” to Mike Dean, one of the producers of Jay Z’s “Watch the Throne” album in 2011 outside a New York hotel where the hip-hop musicians were recording part of the album.  Later, when the album was released, Mac discovered…

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“Blurred Lines” Copyright Suit Set to Go to Trial

On Thursday, October 30, a California District Judge denied Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ motion for summary judgment to end the suit revolving around their song “Blurred Lines.” The recording artist and his producer went on the offensive in August 2013 by filing a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief to protect their song “Blurred Lines” from Bridgeport Music and Marvin Gaye’s children, who were threatening their own actions claiming copyright violations.  The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment to end the lawsuit in their favor…

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