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Google Is As Google Does: How Google Cheats Both Sides of the DMCA Takedown Process

Last week, a Hollywood attorney threatened to sue Google for $100 million dollars over their failure to take down certain URLs associated with the release of nude celebrity photos hacked from their online accounts. In one case, almost 45% of the URLs listed in one takedown notice remained up despite the fact that the photos clearly were stolen. What is Google up to? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at how Google is cheating the takedown process… on both sides.


Flo and Eddie v. SiriusXM Radio: Have Two Hippies from the 60’s Just Changed the Course of Broadcast Music?

Last week, everything about broadcasting music changed. For the first time, a Federal Judge in California has ruled that records made before February 15, 1972 had performance rights under California law. This means that every radio broadcaster, satellite broadcaster and internet radio station in the State that played a record by The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin was potentially breaking the law, and owes damages. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes an in-depth look at the current litigation and what the ruling means for the future of broadcasting and the internet.

Stage in Orange Lights

Judge Says “No” to Roger Dean’s Avatar Lawsuit: Should He Have Said “Yes” Instead?

Every successful creative project seems to attract lawsuits claiming the project copied the material from some unknown author. James Cameron’s film Avatar was no exception. It attracted at least five separate lawsuits, but one stood out. Almost immediately after release, the internet lit up with comparisons between the otherworldy planet of Pandora and several very similar paintings of fantastical landscapes. The paintings all had one source; British artist Roger Dean, who had created album covers for Yes, Asia, Uriah Heep and Gentle Giant. Last week, Roger Dean’s suit got dismissed by a Federal Judge. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., performs an in-depth analysis of the suit and the dismissal, and discusses key problems with the Judge’s ruling.


Copyright Blog Update: Court of Appeals Rejects “Transformative Use” Test & Malibu Media Marches Along

This post updates the latest happenings in two controversial areas of copyright that were the subject of previous blogs: the “transformative use” test and the alleged “copyright troll” Malibu Media. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., examines the rejection of the “transformative use” test by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and two recent court judgments in favor of adult video producer Malibu Media.

So, virtually anything, from your “selfies” to a doodle in your notebook, is protected by the Copyright Law.

Unintended Consequences: How the DMCA Made the Distribution of Stolen Celebrity Photos All Too Easy

Last week, the ugly side of the internet was highly visible. Stolen photographs of nude female celebrities circulated around the world, with some sites nearly crashing due to such high demand. Did the copyright act actually help grease the wheels of this sleazy and shameful phenomenon? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., explains how it worked and what might be done to remedy the problem.


Is the Digital Revolution Going to Kill Fair Use?

Digital files are acquired by license, not by sale. There are at least two existing courts cases which hold that the license agreement can restrict the end user’s ability to engage in certain activities that are fair use. How likely is it, that when the world is moving towards an all-digital market, that all of “fair use” will be completely contracted away? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes a look at whether the dawn of the digital realm will mean the sunset of fair use.


Claiming Copyright in Public Domain Works: It’s Time to Put an End to Publishing Sleight of Hand

What do Huckleberry Finn, Sherlock Holmes and the song “Happy Birthday” have in common? All are partially or completely in the public domain, but have publishers that are still claiming they are fully protected by copyright. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., gets to the bottom of the tricks and sleight of hand behind the claims.

A monitor on a neon background.

Monkey in the Middle: Who Owns the Monkey “Selfie”?

Pressing the shutter on a camera is more mechanical than artistic. It’s so simple, even a monkey can do it. And that’s exactly what happened with the case of the “monkey selfie” that went viral. The photographer says he owns the copyright. After all, it was his camera. Wikimedia says no one owns the copyright. The monkey took the picture and the monkey would be the copyright claimant, if a monkey could own a copyright. Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., examines the competing theories behind who owns the “monkey selfie.”


Copyright Piracy and the Entertainment Industries: Is the Effect Massive or Negligible?

In 1996, global music sales were close to $40 billion. In 2013, global music sales were a mere $15 billion, a decrease of 62%. Who’s to blame? Well, if you ask the recording industry, they’ll say internet file sharing. Yet a number of people, including a few economists in peer reviewed studies, say that file sharing has no effect. Who is right? Nova Southeastern University's Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, takes you through the statistics and the studies to find out.


Marching Bravely Into the Quagmire: The Complete Mess that the “Transformative” Test Has Made of Fair Use

The Supreme Court is the last word on the law of copyright. But when their last words are unclear as to intent, trouble starts brewing immediately. Such is the case with so called “transformative” uses. This single reference has created more confusion amongst the court than any copyright decision in recent memory. Copyright Officer, Stephen Carlisle, J.D., takes you through how “transformative” has turned the murky waters of “fair use” into a quagmire of conflicting rulings and questionable logic.