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New Social Media Guidance for 2024 Olympians

The opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games represents one of the most honorable achievements of any athlete’s career. And while Olympians may have always been trailblazers in the world of sports, today’s competitors are more than just athletes – they are brand ambassadors, marketing representatives, and social media influencers. While an athlete’s ability to … Continue Reading

Japan’s Flexible Approach to AI and Copyright Supports AI Development

SPB’s Joe Grasser and Scott Warren recently examined the current state of Japan’s copyright laws as they relate to Artificial Intelligence (AI). As they explain, Japan has taken a very flexible approach to help “jump start” AI development in the country. Given the potential impact that this law could have on AI development, we wanted … Continue Reading

Global Brand Protection – How to Manage an Anti-Counterfeiting Program

For every successful brand, it is critical to properly protect and to productively develop and use the underlying intellectual property (IP) in that brand to ensure its long-term growth.… Continue Reading

AI Art Registration Denied – The Copyright Review Board Tells Applicant To Gogh Home

Last Fall in this space, we discussed the U.S. Copyright Office’s AI Initiative launched in early 2023. Among other things, the Initiative’s portal compiles registration decisions for AI-generated materials. Particularly instructive is a December 11, 2023 decision by the Copyright Review Board affirming the denial of registration to an AI-generated artwork. As detailed below, when … Continue Reading

A Proposed Likeness Law Paves the Way for a New Federal Right of Action

In the age of generative AI, it is easier than ever to make an unauthorized AI replica of our favorite celebrities. Using AI algorithms, deepfake technology can create authentic-looking, fictional reproductions, making it quite difficult to spot the difference between a real and a fake. Many of us see AI generated songs and recordings on … Continue Reading

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Game of Professional Sports

We previously reported that artificial intelligence (“AI”) is changing the landscape of all aspects of our modern economy. The world of professional sports is no exception. Emerging technologies are transforming the games we know and love. From player recruitment to athlete recovery, AI’s integration into sports is opening doors for optimized performance and real-time risk … Continue Reading

People Don’t Come to See the Tattoo, They Come to See the Show

In Cramer v. Netflix, Inc., 3:22-cv-131 (W.D. Pa. Sep. 18, 2023), the plaintiff brought a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement because a photograph flashed on the screen during the “Tiger King 2” documentary depicted a tattoo of the now famous “Tiger King” (a/k/a “Joe Exotic”), that the plaintiff tattoo artist had inked. Because ownership of original … Continue Reading

Federal Policymakers: Chasing the Runaway AI Train

The U.S. is generally viewed as “behind” in its regulation of AI compared to the European Union and Asian countries. Yet ChatGPT’s release triggered a tsunami of U.S. legislation in 2023 from federal and state legislators seeking to address perceived concerns with the emerging and fast evolving technology. State legislatures have introduced nearly 200 AI … Continue Reading

Did the Supreme Court Rule that the Copyright Act Bars Damages for Old Infringement – Or Was It Just Sloppy Drafting? 

It seems the Supreme Court will decide (again) whether a claim for copyright infringement can extend to infringement that occurred more than three years before filing suit. In Warner Chappell Music, Inc. v. Nealy, the Supreme Court will resolve a classic circuit split – the Second Circuit holding that no damages can be obtained for … Continue Reading

The Year of AI Continues: U.S. Copyright Office Wants Your Thoughts on the Potential Regulatory Framework for AI

2023 has been a watershed year for AI with its entry into the broader public consciousness. AI has been front and center in the legal space as well, as this blog has detailed here and here. Now, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) is seeking public comments on the various legal, technical and policy issues raised … Continue Reading

Podcast: SPB’s Paolo Beconcini Covers Global Counterfeiting and the Importance of Protecting Your Brand in China

Counterfeiting is a global problem that affects a wide variety of entrepreneurs and innovators – from small businesses to global corporations.  Action in China can be an important tool for combating these problems.  Head of the firm’s China Intellectual Property team, Paolo Beconcini covers the complex challenges of fighting global counterfeiting for INDICAM (Italian Association … Continue Reading

Podcast: SPB’s Joe Grasser Covers Art Appropriation with INDICAM

 Blog editor and partner in our IP group, Joe Grasser, covers one of the year’s most intriguing IP cases, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith et al, Case No. 21-869, as part of INDICAM’s podcast series “IPxSUMMER 2023 around the world”.  As many will recall, SCOTUS recently upheld a ruling that an … Continue Reading

Generative AI Is Changing How We Do Business and How We Practice Law

The news about Steven Schwartz, the attorney who asked ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to find cases relevant to his client’s lawsuit only to submit a brief full of bogus caselaw, spread gleefully fast, as embarrassing news does. And although we shook our heads in disapproval, I suspect many attorneys were grateful to Mr. Schwartz. … Continue Reading

Copyright protection for AI works: UK vs US

The use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is growing, but whether AI-generated works can be protected by copyright remains unclear and the position is inconsistent across different jurisdictions including the UK and USA. A recent US case, concerning a comic book which included AI-generated images, offers an opportunity to contrast the two countries’ approaches to AI-generated … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds that Registration of a Single Photography Database Supports Award of Statutory Damages for Each Individual Photo in the Database

Reasoning that the form of a copyright registration does not really matter, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s ruling that real estate photography provider VHT was entitled to statutory damages for 2,700 photos infringed by Zillow even though VHT had registered all of the works at issue as part of a single database. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Warhol’s “Orange Prince” Not Transformative, Not Fair Use

The Supreme Court recently upheld an appellate court’s ruling that Andy Warhol’s use of a photograph of Prince as a reference for a collection of screen prints is not fair use – to the extent his foundation decided to license them at least. In the weeks that followed, the Supreme Court’s decision in Andy Warhol … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Holds that Software Plaintiff Bears Evidentiary Burden of Copyrightability Where Defendant’s Evidence Shows Some Elements Not Copyrightable

In a case that could have some lasting impact, the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a 2020 ruling by Judge Rodney Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas dismissing claims that a competitor infringed non-literal elements of the plaintiff’s software. Because defendant World Programming Limited (“WPL”) had shown that some elements of plaintiff SAS Institute’s (“SAS”) … Continue Reading

Automating Entertainment: Writers Demand that Studios Not Use AI

When the Writers Guild of America (WGA) came with their list of demands in the strike that has already grinded production on many shows to a halt, chief among them was that the studios agree not to use artificial intelligence to write scripts. Specifically, the Guild had two asks: First, they said that “literary material,” … Continue Reading

Ghostwriter in the Machine: Copyright Implications for AI-Generated Imitations

A track called “Heart on My Sleeve” went viral recently on social media with lead vocals sounding eerily similar to a certain crooner known for his lovelorn lyrics. The pantomimed artist was Drake, no stranger to thirsty pining, backed by R&B artist The Weeknd. The song, however, was credited to Ghostwriter977, the alias of an … Continue Reading

The Subvertising Movement: Protecting your Brand from “Brandalism”

The authors would like to thank Eben Kurtz for his valuable contribution to this post. Heard of the climate activists defacing advertisements, billboards and bus shelters? Brandalism is a recent anti-advertising movement which uses a brand’s own assets and marketing channels against the brand itself, through replacing legitimate advertisements with spoofs and parodies (known as “subvertising”). … Continue Reading

World IP Day 2023: Accelerating Inclusivity of our IP Systems

Every year, on April 26, intellectual property organizations around the world observe “World IP Day” – an event established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to raise awareness of patents, copyrights, designs, and trademarks, and to celebrate the creativity and contributions of inventors, authors, artists and entrepreneurs. The theme for 2023 is “Women and … Continue Reading

District Court Rules Internet Archive’s Open Library Project is Not Fair Use

A federal district court in New York held that the Internet Archive’s Open Library project was engaging in copyright infringement by publishing digital copies of millions of books online. Even though the Internet Archive and participating libraries purchased print copies of the books and, for the most part, made them available to borrowers on a … Continue Reading

IP Protection of NFTs: A Comparative Look at the US and China

The author would like to thank John Hodges and Elisa Li for their contributions to this post. The emergence of blockchain-supported Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has captured the interest of the entertainment and business worlds in the past couple of years. Large digital transactions like that of Beeple NFT that sold for $69 million and the ever-mounting numbers … Continue Reading
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