Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2011’

Parody (In the Butt)

On 13 July, the alleged copyright infringement against Viacom for stealing the YouTube video “What What (In the Butt)” was dismissed, with a United States federal judge affirming the “fair use” justification. In November 2010, Brownmark Films (the producer of the video) sued Viacom and Comedy Central for copyright infringement over a South Park episode (the 171st episode to be exact) entitled “Canada on Strike” which aired in 2008.

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Return of the Judges (of the UK Supreme Court)

In two previous posts, available here and here, we have chronicled the ongoing dispute between Star Wars creator George Lucas and Andrew Ainsworth.  Ainsworth created the original Imperial Stormtrooper uniform and in 2004 he commenced making Stormtrooper costumes again, which he would sell to dedicated Star Wars fans.

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If you invade a property and take photos, who holds copyright in the photo?

Windrige Farm Pty Ltd is the owner of the Wonga Piggery, located near Young, New South Wales.  Along with the regular concerns faced by any piggery owner, including disease, environmental problems and the possibility of (former) prime ministerial ownership, there is always the risk of animal rights activists invading the property.  Such was the case on 9 July 2006, where Messrs Grassi, Simpson and James trespassed on the piggery to take photos and videos to document the conditions the animals were living in.

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Is copyright law making a monkey out of David Slater?

Readers may recall the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me!, about the life of staff at a fictional fashion magazine.  David Spade’s character, Dennis Finch, often mocked the fashion photographer, Elliot DiMauro, suggesting that even a monkey could do his job.  In one memorable episode, Elliot is nominated for an award and, as the plot develops, he is forced to admit that the photograph was taken by a monkey on rollerskates.

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SOLAHART and SOLARHUT: are you confused?

Buying into clean energy solutions is confusing enough from a technology and regulatory point of view but with choices from SOLAR PROSPECT, SOLAR FRONTIER, SOLARPLUS, SOLAR@WORK, eSOLAR, SOLAR RESERVE, FIRST SOLAR, SKYLINE SOLAR, BIG SKY SOLAR, SKYPOWER, JA SOLAR, BP SOLAR and TRINA SOLAR etc where do you start and who does what?!

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Ombudsman’s immunity does not apply to claims of software copyright infringement

The NSW Ombudsman has lost a claim for immunity from liability for copyright infringements alleged by a software company: see MicroFocus v NSW [2011] FCA 787.  Whilst interesting, the decision is unlikely to have widespread application because the court did not need to consider the broader question of whether the federal Copyright Act was inconsistent with the state legislation conferring immunity on a statutory officeholder. 

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Mongols’ logo a no-go?

After 3 years of litigation, on 29 June, a U.S. Federal Court judge has ruled that the notorious U.S. bikie gang, the Mongols Motorcycle Club, can keep their name and logo. The two registered trademarks of the club are the “verbal mark” which is the word Mongols, and the “visual mark” which is the logo. The club’s trade marked logo depicts a man with a ponytail riding a chopper (that’s a motorcycle to us bike unenthusiasts) which is synonymous with the persona of the club.

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ECJ gets behind brand owners

The European Court of Justice (“ECJ“) yesterday ruled that, in certain circumstances, online market operators such as eBay may be held liable for trade mark infringement by users of their sites, and that they should take preventative action against sellers of counterfeit goods.

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Senate adjourns consideration of the Raising the Bar Bill

Further to our post on 22 June 2011, following the second reading speech of the Property Laws Amendment (Raising The Bar) Bill 2011 the debate on this important reform legislation has been adjourned.  No date has been set down for the Bill to be debated by the Senate and we await confirmation of whether the Bill will be sent to a Senate Committee for further deliberation.
 

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