Artist Files Suit Over Destruction of Renowned Mural Alleging Violation of VARA

A noted designer and illustrator who worked on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” has filed a lawsuit over the destruction of his Los Angeles “Six Heads” mural, alleging violation of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and the California Art Preservation Act. The case is Thrasher v. Siegel et al., case number 2:17-cv-03047, in the …

Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, INC. ET AL.

John Carson Atheltica

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Star v. Varsity.  580 U.S.___(2017). The opinion concerned the copyrightability of two-dimensional designs, consisting of various lines and chevrons and colorful shapes, appearing on the surface of cheerleader uniforms.  Justice Thomas, delivering the majority opinion of the Court, opined …

Central District of California: Decision in Graham v Sotheby’s.

John Carson - California Sothesby

On March 17, 2017, Judge Nguyen of the Central District of California struck down the California Resale Royalty Act (CRRA) as violative of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution (Graham v. Sotheby’s).  The Court stated that the CRRA is invalid because it regulates transactions that take place wholly outside of the State …

Criminal or Civil Liability for Sharing Streaming Accounts?

We are at the beginning of a new era of media consumption.  Traditional content delivery systems such as satellite and cable television are hemorrhaging customers to a wave of “cord cutting” that has been facilitated by the availability of streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix and HBO Go.[1]  Now that smart televisions are becoming …

Did the DMCA Hinder Researchers in Discovering VW's Emissions Defeat Device?

By now, everyone has probably heard about the Volkswagen “emissions scandal” involving the company’s alleged use of software on its vehicles that evaded testing to pass emission standards. Amidst this, several articles and news organizations have speculated that copyright laws prevented researchers from discovering Volkswagen’s defeat device sooner.   The story goes that the Digital Millennium …

Patent Owners: Have an Infringement Claim? Time is (Still) of the Essence

The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in a case involving adult diapers serves as a reminder to act quickly and urgently when you believe you have a patent infringement claim. In an opinion released this month, SCA Hygiene v. First Quality Baby Products, the Federal Circuit held that the legal doctrine of laches remains a viable …

Using Copyright Protection in Architectural Works to Police Unauthorized Photographs

Can I stop photographers from taking, displaying, and selling photographs of my building? The answer is, like the answer to so many other questions, maybe. This issue often arises in the context of photographers who license their photographs for a fee through online stock image sites. The photographs are taken without authorization and present a …