LEGAL THOUGHTS

This blog contains our personal opinions on topics that interest us.

GPDR - Implementing it in Iceland

When discussing the EU's forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), commentators often say that it will be in force from May 25, 2018 and that it automatically becomes law in the EU member states. It also will be effective in the countries that are a part of the European Economic Area (EEA) -- Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway -- but not part of the EU. For the GDPR to become law in these countries, it first will have to be incorporated into the EEA Agreement (see link concerning incorporation of EU Acts into EEA Agreement). For up to date information concerning the status of the GDPR's incorporation into the EEA Agreement, see the following link. Then, it will have to be implem

Publishing links and copyright infringement

Last year, I wrote about a lawsuit by Playboy against Happy Mutants, LLC, who operates the Boingo Boingo website. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc. v. Happy Mutants, LLC, Case 2:17-cv-08140 (C.D. Ca. 2017). Playboy asserted that the publication of an article containing two links to Playboy's copyrighted materials constituted direct and/or vicarious copyright infringement (see link to First Amended Complaint, stored on Mega.nz). On February 14th, Playboy's lawsuit was dismissed with leave to file a Second Amended Complaint by February 26, 2018, provided that Playboy could address the issues raised by Happy Mutants in its motion to dismiss (see link to Order, stored on Mega.nz). I checked t

Pennsylvania Politics and Gerrymandering

To what extent is gerrymandering permissible. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania entered that discussion and found that the 2011 Congressional District Map was too partisan under the Pennsylvania State Constitution. League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 159-MM-2017, January 22, 2018 (see link to the Order). This is what the 2011 map looked like. Notice the funny shape of the sixth and seventh districts. In response to the Supreme Court's decision, on February 9th, two state legislators submitted a proposed map to correct the gerrymandering. This was their proposed map. On February 13, the Pennsylvania governor rejected that map, inter alia, as still

In-line linking may directly infringe copyrights (and change the Internet as we know it)

If you want to display an image on a webpage, you have a couple of choices. You can host the image on your webserver, or you can embed the image / in-line link the image on a third-party server. In both cases, the image appears as a part of the webpage. In the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, embedding an image and in-line linking an image is lawful. Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 508 F.3d 1146 (9th Cir. 2007); Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc., 416 F.Supp. 828, 844 (C.D. Cal. 2006). Many courts have followed the Ninth Circuit's reasoning, and this has allowed the Internet to become as rich with content. However, a United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Whitewashing graffiti can be expensive

On November 7, 2017, a three-week trial ended over whether the destruction of graffiti artworks on the 5 Pointz warehouse in Queen violated the artists' / plaintiffs' rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 ("VARA"), 17 U.S.C. § 106A. The jury found the defendants guilty. On Monday, February 12, 2018, the other shoe dropped. The District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the developer to pay $6.75 million in damages to 21 artists for the destruction of 45 works of art. The damages were calculated at $150,000 (or the maximum statutory damages award) per each of the 45 works. 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2). A copy of the 100 page order can be found here (hosted on Mega.n

Rivella

I was in Stoos, Switzerland which is a small mountain resort town and I found some Rivella, which is a local Swiss beverage made from milk whey. Some of the bottles were labeled in Korean. Why? Perhaps because the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held in PyeongChang, Korea between February 8 - 25, 2018. #trademark #olympics

Walmart. Did you notice the change?

On February 1, 2018, Walmart belately amended its corporate documents to conform its official name to its branded name. In 2008, the business rebranded from "Wal-Mart Stores" to "Walmart" (see link). Now, its corporate papers will reflect that same change (see CNN link). Photo by MikeMozartJeepersMedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 #trademark

Copyright Registration - 3 important concepts for photographers

1. Why is copyright registration important? Generally, registration of a US created work is a prerequisite to bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United State (see 17 U.S.C. § 411(a)). However, some courts permit plaintiffs to initiate a copyright infringement lawsuit based on the filing of a copyright application. Moreover, timely registration of your copyright increases your potential recovery, see point 3 below. 2. When should you register your copyright? As a rule of thumb, you should register your copyright before "publishing" your photographs (see 17 U.S.C. § 101). For unpublished photos, they should be registered before they are infringed (see 17 U.S.C. § 412). And

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