Productivity Commission recommends extensive changes to Australian IP – including fair use, circumventing geoblocks, abolishing business method and software patents and more!

Today, the Productivity Commission has released its draft report into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. IP Whiteboard readers may recall that last year, the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s intellectual property system (see our previous post here). At 600 pages, the draft report is certainly comprehensive! We have read more...

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 read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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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 read more...

The Dancing Baby case: considering fair use before sending a copyright take-down notice – implications for Australia

There has been a lot of talk lately about the “Dancing Baby” lawsuit (a.k.a Lenz v Universal Music Corp). For those readers who haven’t heard of the case, the basic story will be relatively familiar: a video, uploaded to YouTube, was then removed pursuant what is known as a “DMCA takedown notice” following an allegation read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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Dallas Buyers Club – customer details not to be released (yet)

In the Dallas Buyers Club proceeding, Dallas Buyers Club and Voltage Pictures sought preliminary discovery from a number of ISPs of customer names and addresses associated with 4,716 IP addresses alleged to have been used to infringe copyright.   As we previously reported (see our post here), on 7 April 2015, Justice Perram was satisfied in read more...

Government announces economic analysis of ALRC copyright recommendations

Yesterday, the Government announced that it has commissioned an economic analysis of some of the recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission in its Copyright and the Digital Economy Report. The ALRC’s report, which was publicly released in February 2014, made a number of recommendations for reform of Australian Copyright law.  One of the read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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TARJAY or TARGET? The registration of parody trade marks

Many Australians colloquially refer to the department store Target as “Tar-Jay” (with a fake French accent), cheekily introducing an up-market French boutique association to Target’s affordable goods.   Such association apparently dates back at least to media references in 1983. The word “Tarjay” entered UrbanDictionary.com in 2008: “Target Store said with a fake french accent to read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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