By Matthew Evans

The Australian Government has introduced new laws to block websites at an internet service provider (ISP) level if they have the primary purposes of infringing or facilitating the infringement of copyright. On June 22 the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 was passed in parliament, amending the Copyright Act to introduce the new provisions.


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By Tamar Duvdevani

This past Wednesday, April 29, the Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded an underlying grant of summary judgment by the Northern District of Georgia that invalidated a copyright in a laminate wood flooring design.  In Home Legend, LLC v. Mannington Mills, Inc., defendant and counterclaimant Mannington Mills, Inc. asserted claims of copyright infringement over its “Glazed Maple” laminate flooring, which is designed, as one might expect, to resemble planks of maple wood.  Home Legend, LLC moved for summary judgment, arguing that the asserted copyright is devoid of copyrightable subject matter in light of the fact that the flooring resembles wood as it appears in nature, and that Mannington’s copyright impermissibly attempts to protect a process or idea, for a useful article.  The district court agreed, holding that “Mannington simply attempted to recreate the look of natural, rustic wood in another medium–artwork. Under those circumstances, the Court concludes that Mannington’s 2-D artwork lacks the originality required for copyright protection.”  The district court further held that the copyright was invalid as a useful article, and because Mannington attempted to protect an idea or a process with its copyright (ideas are not protectable under the Copyright Act; only their original expression will qualify for copyright protection).


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By Stefania Baldazzi and Elena Varese

Coordinator of the Fashion Law Specialization Course at the University of Milan

1. Barbara, you are the coordinator of the postgraduate fashion law course at the Insubria University of Como and at the Statale University of Milan.  No similar course has ever been offered by an Italian academic institution before.  Can you tell us where the idea to set up such a course came from?


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Reposted from Sports, Media and Entertainment Online

By Keitaro Uzawa and Ann Cheung

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (“METI“) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (“Guidelines“), which apply to all online business operations in Japan and clarify how the Civil Code, which governs Japanese commercial contracts, and other relevant laws, such as the Act on Special Provisions to the Civil Code Concerning Electronic Consumer Contracts and Electronic Acceptance Notice (Act No. 95 of 2001) (“Electronic Contract Act“) and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976), are applied to various legal issues relating to electronic commerce and information property trading.


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Reposted from Sports. Media and Entertainment Online

By Alexis Fierens and Raf Schoefs  

Under Belgian law, a copyrighted work may be used without the authorisation of the author(s) for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche. In the absence of any clear guidance on the interpretation of the concept of parody and considering the economic value of many copyrighted works of which the integrity is carefully guarded by their rights holders, parodies have been the subject of many legal proceedings, leading to divergent decisions. For that reason, a clarification of the concept of ‘parody’ by the European Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has been long awaited.


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Reposted from Intellectual Property and Technology News

By Brian Biggs, Stan Panikowski, and Andrew N. Stein

RECENT DECISIONS

NAUTILUS, INC. V. BIOSIG INSTRUMENTS, INC.

Patent: Decided: June 3, 2014

Holding: In a unanimous (9-0) opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court held that the Federal Circuit’s indefiniteness standard bred “lower court confusion” because it “lack[ed] the precision § 112, ¶2” demands.


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By Edward Chatterton and Horace Lam

WHEN WILL THINGS CHANGE

On June 6, 2014, the fourth draft version of the new PRC Copyright Law (New Law) was published for public comment, having first been published in 2010. The period for public comment ended on July 5, 2014 meaning the implementation of the New Law is drawing ever closer.

The overall aim of the New Law is to rationalize the existing PRC Copyright Law (Existing Law), bringing it in line with other developed copyright laws around the world. This update focusses on the key changes the New Law will introduce and the practical consequences for rights owners, assuming that the New Law is implemented as currently drafted.  


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Reposted from Intellectual Property and Technology Alert

Shortly after its highly publicized loss before the US Supreme Court, which appeared to doom its over-the-air television Internet streaming business, New York-based Aereo shifted to a new legal strategy which it hopes will save its business from extinction. 

Aereo has asserted in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license to carry over-the-air broadcasts under § 111 of the Copyright Act.  Such a license, which is available to cable systems, could be a complete defense to copyright infringement claims by broadcasters.  Aereo bases its claim on the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Aereo service is “highly similar” to that of a cable system.  


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By David M. Kramer and Rachelle M. Llontop

Guest blog post by Rachelle M. Llontop. Rachelle is a summer associate in the Washington, DC office of DLA Piper. She attends the American University Washington College of Law and will graduate in 2015.

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit’s decision in WNET, et. al v. Aereo, Inc., holding that Aereo’s streaming television service infringes copyright holders’ exclusive right to perform a copyrighted work publicly under the Transmit Clause of the Copyright Act of 1976.  The high-profile case stemmed from Aereo’s service, which functioned by using thousands of tiny antennae to receive over-the-air television broadcasts. The signal received by each individual antenna was then retransmitted to a specific subscriber over the Internet.  Plaintiffs, a collection of several networks, filed for a preliminary injunction against Aereo, claiming that Aereo’s retransmissions were a prohibited public performance of copyrighted works.  On April 1, 2013, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s denial of plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction.


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