Breaking news: “Hollywood bound for the High Court” – Film companies lodge special leave application in iiNet

In news just to hand, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has issued a press release on its website confirming that the film companies which brought proceedings against ISP, iiNet, in 2008 have lodged an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia.

Under the High Court Rules, any application for special leave must have been lodged by no later than 4pm today.

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Subjects: Copyright

‘Copyright in a chrysanthemum?’

Make no mistake about it: Chapman Kelley is an artist.  He studied art at university for a combined total of 15 years.  He has held scores of exhibitions; the first of which opened to sell-out audiences in 1963.  Over the last quarter of a century, Kelley has been interviewed and has featured on radio and television broadcasts around the world.

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Subjects: Copyright

“The Adventures of Huck Finn and the Hundred Years’ Copyright”

Locked away for over a century, Mark Twain’s autobiography will be published for the first time next month.  Why the delay?  Despite completing the work before his death in 1910, Twain instructed his publishers not to release it for a hundred years.  The story goes that Twain wanted to ensure that anyone he poked fun at, ridiculed or (possibly!) defamed, had - like him - well and truly passed on to the next life by the time copies hit the shelves.  Cynics, of course, might argue that Twain’s wish only served to ensure that the release of his autobiography would attract as much publi read more...

Subjects: Copyright

‘Strip clubs, flying pigs, bikini-clad girls and sugary treats’

(Now that we have your attention!…) Earlier this year, we blogged on the Advertising Standards Bureau ("ASB"), the organisation responsible for administering a national system of advertising self-regulation, mainly through its Advertising Standards Board ("Board"). We've now had a look at how the Board dealt with the 47 complaints it considered in March this year, and there are some interesting lessons.

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‘Your download session has been interrupted…’ – LimeWire liable for inducing copyright infringement

Summary judgment against one of the last remaining free file-sharing giants was handed down by the US District Court in New York last week.  LimeWire has continued to facilitate free music and movie file-sharing over the last decade, while its competitors (such as Napster and Kazaa) have been forced to shut down.  Following a four year legal battle commenced by 13 major US record labels, LimeWire has now been found liable for inducing copyright infringement. 

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Subjects: Copyright

Can copyright subsist in a $10,000 suit? ‘Mardi Gras Indians’ seek copyright protection in their ceremonial costumes…

According to a recent news report, ‘Mardi Gras Indians’ in New Orleans have begun filing for copyright protection in their ceremonial suits.  Three times a year, members of local tribes don their elaborate costumes and parade down the city’s streets.  However, tired of being ‘exploited’ by the ever-increasing number of photographers who use their images to create calendars and expensive prints, some Mardi Gras Indians have sought legal protection in their suits.  The suit read more...

Subjects: Copyright

Pow! Biff! Bam! Copyright dust-up over superhero rights

Residents of Metropolis take note… your illustrious superhero is the subject of an American copyright dispute on course for the federal court in ‘downtown’ Manhattan.  Even Superman may be powerless to stop this battle, which has broken out between comic book publisher, Marvel Entertainment LLC, and the heirs of Jack Kirby (long-time Marvel artist and responsible for creating many superhero favourites).

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Subjects: Contracts | Copyright

Proving copyright subsistence? Consider the section 128 presumption

In actions for copyright infringement, respondents frequently challenge subsistence and/or ownership.  However, where the name of the author does not appear on the work, a name purporting to be that of the publisher does, and the work was published in Australia within the requisite 70 year period, then unless the contrary is established, section 128 provides that copyright shall be presumed to subsist in the work and the person’s name who appeared purporting to be publisher shall be pres read more...

Subjects: Copyright