An Empirical Study of Transformative Use in Copyright Law — How dominant has the transformative use inquiry become in fair use analysis since its introduction? And what effect has it had on shaping fair use outcomes? Law professor Jiariu Liu assembled a set of all reported transformative use decisions through 2017 to see what the data tell us.
The Investment Firm That Commissioned Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ Is Suing the Artist for Making Replicas — A teaching moment for artists who create works for others to understand what rights they retain for those works (and to determine in advance of any agreement what rights they may want to retain). Also another teaching moment for reading the actual complaint rather than relying on headlines. The complaint alleges only several breach of contract claims. That includes breach of both trademark and copyright agreements in the contract, but no allegations of trademark or copyright infringement per se. Of course, the question going forward is to what extent are any of the contract claims actually copyright infringement claims and/or preempted by the Copyright Act. A good law school exam hypo.
‘Fortnite’ Law Firm Reports Someone Tried to End Dance Lawsuits With Fake Emails — A bit of drama this week in the ongoing litigation involving claims the popular video game incorporated protectable dance moves without authorization. Variety reports that an email that appeared to originate from the plaintiffs’ law firm was sent to the US Copyright Office, asking it to reject its copyright claims.
Studios Sue Omniverse in TV Streaming Crackdown — On the heels of a successful settlement with streaming device maker Dragon Box, studios have sued Omniverse, alleging the company serves as a “hub” for feeding unauthorized content to other illegal streaming services.