Category Archive for: ‘Copyright’

Soft Kitty, Same Kitty: The Big Bang Theory sued for copyright infringement… Bazinga

Over Christmas, the producers of The Big Bang Theory (amongst others) received a rather unwelcome gift – their now-famous Soft Kitty lullaby has become the subject of a copyright infringement claim. The daughters of Edith Newlin, a New Hampshire nursery school teacher, claim the show has copied their mother’s 1933 poem, Warm Kitty, without their mother’s permission. For those of …

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500 versions of software – when is a new version of software original and when does copyright subsist?

The Full Court, in its recent decision JR Consulting & Drafting Pty Limited v Cummings [2016] FCAFC 20 tackled some difficult questions of subsistence of copyright and originality. Considering the circumstance where an original work has been altered by a number of changes that are insubstantial in the context of the foundation work, the Full Court asked: Is the text …

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Copyright and the US primaries: From Adele to Neil Young, why do artists keep getting Berned by politicians?

From Trump to Clinton to Cruz, there is no presidential campaign that doesn’t involve the candidate strutting onto the stage to an ‘inspirational’ song. But what if the artist is not ok with the politicians encouraging voters to ‘Feel the Bern’ or ‘Make America Great Again’ with their tune?

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Dallas Buyers Club – end of a chapter?

The Dallas Buyers Club application appears to have drawn to an end, and with it another chapter in rights holders’ attempts to respond to file sharing. In December 2015, Justice Perram of the Federal Court rejected a further attempt to obtain customer details, after previously requiring undertakings and a bond before preliminary discovery would be ordered (see our post on …

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And the copyright changes keep coming – safe harbour, fair dealing and more

If copyright lawyers hadn’t already had a busy enough year in 2015 with the introduction of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015, they were in for a special holiday treat when the Department of Communications and the Arts released some more interesting draft amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (“the Act”) for public comment on Christmas Eve. Among other …

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Our top 5 Australian copyright developments in 2015

As 2016 begins, we take a look back at the key developments in copyright in 2015 in Australia.   It certainly has been a busy year, with amendments to the Copyright Act, the development of a Copyright Notice Scheme, and not to forget the Dallas Buyers Club litigation, the famous dead cat and houses with “French Provincial style with a Caribbean …

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Million Dollar Moggy: Grumpy Cat’s coffee copyright grind

What is your cat worth to you? If you answered “at least a few hundred thousand dollars in damages and the rights to a lucrative domain name”, you may be Tabatha Bundesen, owner of feline internet sensation Grumpy Cat. With this much potential money in the kitty, it was only a matter of time before Grumpy Cat got into a …

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Haters Gonna Hate (hate, hate, hate, hate): Why are famous singers so often sued for copyright infringement?

Taylor Swift was sued by R&B singer Jesse Braham for US$42 million for alleged copyright infringement in the lyrics of her chart toppings song “Shake it Off”.   Two weeks later, the claim was dismissed. It seems that every famous singer these days has been sued for copyright infringement. Think Pharrell Williams, Beyonce, Jay Z, Sam Smith, Coldplay… and the list …

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Could your Halloween costume land you in the middle of a legal nightmare?

The answer may scare you …

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