Category Archive for: ‘Contracts’

I think we should break up

When entering into licence agreements for TV and other media, few would forget to pay attention to the intellectual property rights of the parties.  But it’s important to remember that the IP rights you’re granting, receiving, or retaining are only as good as the contract which embodies them.  Therefore, it’s pivotal to understand how the contract works and how it can be brought to an end.  A recent Federal Court decision addressed the difficulties of effectively ending a TV broadcasting licence agreement, and provides useful guidance on what to do and what not to do.
 

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US moves closer to Australia on assignment of employee inventions:Bayh-Dole no saviour for government-funded research institutes

In the US, the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 (“Act”) is considered by some to be the most “inspired” legislative enactment of the 20th century.  The provisions of the Act are few and (seemingly) straightforward.  Contractors — universities, national laboratories, teaching hospitals and the like — that enter into a research funding agreement with a US federal government agency are granted a right to ownership of any invention that is created in the course of the funded research.  In re

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With “friends” like these

The story begins at the AusCERT Conference (described by AusCERT as “…the premier IT security event for IT security professionals and anyone with an interest in IT security”).

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“Hi, my name is…Slim Shady” and your ringtone is a licence

Should the downloading of an album be treated the same as if you walk into a music store and purchase the same album on CD?  The answer is important if you are a record company who has backed the best kind of horse – an as yet unknown artist who is going to sell a lot of records – because you want to cast your net as broadly as possible.  

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Friday: the day after Thursday leads to copyright controversy

Rebecca Black is a 13 year old music prodigy from Orange County, California.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  Rebecca Black is a young girl whose song titled “Friday” is testament to the power of social media and autotune.  With over 100 million hits at the time of writing, the song describes the trials and tribulations faced by a typical 13 year old girl.  She’s “gotta go downstairs, gotta have some cereal”, and decide whether kickin’ in the front seat or sittin’ in the back seat is a better way to get to school.  When the song culminates by propheticall

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Back to basics: contract law 101

Was there a contract?  It’s among the most fundamental of legal questions, and it’s one that was recently taken all the way to the NSW Court of Appeal.  Animax Films Pty Ltd (the Appellant) and Simlogic Pty Ltd and Bohemia Interactive Australia Pty Ltd (the Respondents) were unable to agree on whether the exchange of five simple emails had resulted in a binding contract under which the Appellant would produce a “teaser” (aka preview) of a film for the Respondents.  The relevant parts of the emails are set out below.  Can you tell if a contract was f

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UPDATE: PPSA commencement deferred to October 2011

In December we discussed the impact of the new Personal Properties Securities Act: see Crosstown Music bitten by partial assignment of copyright. On 13 February 2011, the Council of Australian Governments decided to defer the commencent of the PPSA regime from May 2011 until October 2011.

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Crosstown Music bitten by partial assignment of copyright

Crosstown Music of California has lost their claim in the English courts to ownership of a portfolio of copyrights consisting of songs written by Mark Taylor and Paul Barry in the 1990s.  The case demonstrates the power of a partial assignment of copyright to secure performance of a primary obligation (in this case the obligation of a publisher to pay royalties to a songwriter).  Although Australian copyright law is the same as the English law considered by the court in this case, if the dispute had occurred in Australia after commencement of the Read More

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Never Tear Us Apart: court battles over INXS fortune

Most of us would know Australian rock band INXS for their hits “New Sensation” and “Need You Tonight” from the late ‘80s.  Or the younger readers among us would remember the airing of the reality TV show Rock Star: INXS in 2005, featuring 15 contestants competing for role of lead singer.  Believe it or not, 15 million viewers tuned in to watch Canadian vocalist J.D. Fortune win the title. 

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