On Thursday, July 2, 2020, Grammy award-winning composer and musician Maria Schneider filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, against YouTube, LLC, Google, LLC, and Alphabet, Inc. The lawsuit concerns copyright piracy on YouTube and alleges that YouTube's copyright management tool, Content ID, "actually insulates the vast majority of known and repeated copyright infringers from YouTube's repeat infringer policy" and leaves plaintiffs in the class with "no meaningful ability to police the extensive infringement of their copyrighted work." The complaint requests, among other things, equitable relief in the form of providing Content ID to all copyright owners and monetary relief in the form of defendants' profits derived from copyright infringement on YouTube.
The U.S. Congress plans to update the Digital Millennium Copyright Act later this year. A lengthy report produced by the U.S. Copyright Office suggests that this update may enhance protections for rights holders.
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Judge John Padova, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ruled mostly in favor of Epic Games, Inc. in a lawsuit involving the Fortnite dance emote "Phone It In." Judge Padova granted Epic Games, Inc.'s motion to dismiss concerning plaintiff Leo Pellegrino's causes of action concerning the following claims: (1) unauthorized use of name or likeness; (2) misappropriation of publicity; (3) invasion of privacy by misappropriation of identity; (4) unjust enrichment; (5) unfair competition; (6) trademark infringement under Pennsylvania common law; and (7) trademark dilution under the Lanham Act. However, Judge Padova ruled that plaintiff's claim for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act could proceed.
On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of defendants, 2K Games, Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., in a lawsuit concerning five tattoos appearing in three basketball simulation video games. Plaintiff Solid Oak Sketches, LLC claimed copyright infringement of tattoos depicted on NBA players Eric Bledsoe, LeBron James, and Kenyon Martin in NBA 2K14, NBA 2K15, and NBA 2K16. The tattoos in question were included in the basketball simulation video games "[t]o further the goal of simulating an actual NBA game."
After years of debate, the European Union (“EU”) has passed the controversial Copyright Directive (the “Directive”), its first update of copyright rules since 2001. By a vote of 348 to 274, the 28 EU member countries are now required to pass or “transpose” these new rules into legislation in their respective countries. The most controversial…
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has sued Epic Games, Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. for copyright infringement. Ribeiro alleged that Epic Games and Take-Two infringed on his copyright to the Carlton Dance by offering in-game purchases in Fortnite Battle Royale and NBA 2K16, respectively,…
MLB persuaded Twitter to suspend the account of Rob Friedman, which shows brief videos and GIFs of individual pitches from MLB games, but the fair use doctrine may protect Friedman's tweets.