HILARY J. SUMNER
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IP In the News

"Happy Birthday" Song in the Public Domain

Posted on September 21, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

A California judge hearing a copyright suit against Warner/Chappell music recently ruled that the "Happy Birthday" song is in the public domain.  The judge held that Warner could enforce its copyright only in certain arrangements of the song.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE



Stiff Penalties for Downloading and Distributing Copyrighted Music

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit recently upheld a $375,000 damage award for illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted music. Other jurisdiction have recently awarded similarly large damages. 

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Copyright Office Offers Single Work

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The US Copyright Office is offering a trial registration option for single works where the author is the copyright owner.  This registration cannot be used in works for hire. The trial registration will be available on 6/28/2013 and these applications can be submitted using a simplified application via the Copyright Office's electronic registration system at the same cost as a standard electronic application. Comments on the new registration option will be accepted until August 28, 2013.

Creator of Documentary on the Song "Happy Birthday to You" Faces Copyright Infringement Suit

Posted on June 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Filmmaker Jennifer Nelson failed to secure a license from Warner/Chappell prior to creating a documentary on the song "Happy Birthday to You."  The question is whether Warner/Chappell holds a copyright on simply a piano arrangement created in 1935 or the 100 year old song.

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Is it Legal to Resell Your Digital Music?

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

ReDigi has created software that purports to remove old digital music files from the user's equipment and then allow that user to resell these files through ReDigi's on-line marketplace.  Capitol Records filed suit against the company in 2012 claiming copyright infringement.   The first sale doctrine seems to suggest that a purchased copy can be legally sold.  But is a digital copy a true "copy" under copyright law?

 

 

UPDATE:  In April 2013 the Court granted summary judgment for Capitol Records, finding that ReDigi's online sale of digital music constitutes copyright infringement. This ruling creates a distinction between physical items and digital ones.  While this case applies to digital music, it may affect the resale of all digital works including e-books. ReDigi may appeal.

Student Faces $675K fine for downloading 30 songs

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Big Fines for Small Time Copyright Violators

Recording industry goes after university student who illegally downloaded and shared 30 songs.

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