We spend a significant amount of time on this blog discussing entertainment law, including copyright law.
Copyright protections are far-reaching. This is great news for those who create a work, but it can spell trouble for those who are unfamiliar with these protections and are accused of misappropriating these works. When this happens, litigation can arise. For a copyright owner, such action is often necessary to protect their creative and financial interests in the work. For those accused of copyright infringement, it means possibly being hit with a judgment that costs them thousands or even millions of dollars. Therefore, matters related to copyright law need to be taken seriously.
Intellectual property can be quite valuable. One reason is because it can be used over and over again. A book can be read multiple times and adapted into film, movies can be shown in theaters and transferred to DVD and modes of streaming, and songs can be played in concert, recorded, and utilized in film, television, and theater presentations.
Songwriters, producers, entertainment lawyers and other people in the music industry have reacted with disbelief at the verdict in a recent copyright lawsuit against the pop star Katy Perry. Last month, a jury found that Perry and her co-writers had infringed on the copyright of Christian rapper Flame when they wrote Perry's 2013 hit "Dark Horse."
Many of us remember a time not long ago when peer-to-peer file sharing sites like Napster threatened to financially ruin the music industry. While the law has clamped down on illegal downloading for copyright violations, the market has changed in response. Although illegal downloads have dwindled over recent years, many Americans are now turning to streaming piracy. Many view this practice as harmless, but the truth of the matter is that it still violates the rights of entertainers and copyright holders.
An individual who creates a musical composition or lyrics automatically obtains a copyright over those works. This instills that individual with a number of rights, including the right to record and sell the composition, license it for use in commercials and film and television, and to record the music and sell those recordings.
Owning a business and being an artist are both challenging feats. There are many considerations that must be made and failing to do so can result in unintended and unwanted consequences.
By its very nature, graffiti art is often public, immovable and temporary. And the artists that specialize in this medium frequently believe that these characteristics make graffiti art exempt from copyright protection. However, a recent ruling issued by a U.S. District Court judge could signal a major shift in the way that graffiti art and the artists that create it are protected under federal law.
Want to protect your intellectual property or make use of someone else's IP for artistic purposes? If you're planning on doing so in California or another U.S. state, Congress could end up making things harder than you anticipate. Here's a quick look at the term (or length) of a copyright, the evolution of the copyright term and how another change in the copyright term could impact you.
In terms of U.S. productivity growth, optimists and pessimists may disagree on a whether renewed resources and innovation are just around the corner. But the one thing they should agree on is that new ideas are getting more expensive.