The Director’s Cut Out of the Copyright by the Second Circuit

In its June 29 opinion in 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin, the Second Circuit, citing the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision in Garcia v. Google, held that a director does not have an independent copyrightable interest in a motion picture. In addition to affirming the District Court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of […]

Why Pandora’s Batting 500 with BMI’s Recent Rate Court Win

On May 18, BMI’s “Rate Court” judge, Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York, ruled in BMI’s favor in its rate dispute with Pandora. However, it wasn’t until May 28 that Judge Stanton’s 60-page opinion was made public. As my former colleague, BMI’s CEO, Mike O’Neill, reminded me at the BMI Student […]

Why The Copyright Office’s New Fair Use Index Rates Only Fair At Best

The Copyright Office recently issued several well-considered studies and recommendations, like the music licensing report. And Register Pallante has been bold in her call to Congress for increased independence and resources so as to best serve all copyright constituents in the digital age. So I take no pleasure in crying foul over the Copyright Office’s […]

A Declaration of Independence for the Copyright Office

On April 29, the head of the Copyright Office, Register Maria A. Pallante, was the sole witness before the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing entitled The Register’s Perspective on Copyright Review. Both her oral and written statements — the latter consisting of a 32-page memorandum with copious footnotes and an appendix of proposed technical […]

Why the Register of Copyrights Wants to Turn In Her Library Card

Those who don’t practice copyright law might be surprised that the Copyright Office is neither an independent agency nor part of the Commerce Department, the home of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Instead, as the Register of Copyrights, Maria A. Pallante, reminded us in a lengthy letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the Copyright […]

The Broad Comedy and Broader Parody of Three’s Company

What’s worse than sitting through seven episodes of Three’s Company? Reading a federal district judge’s summaries of them. And yet that CliffsNotes analysis, including delving into the cultural significance of the fluffy sitcom, takes up much of the 56-page opinion recently issued by Loretta Preska, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York. In […]