The Intellectual Property Law Landslide July/August 2019 Section
without permission based simply on arbitrary numbers. Always get permission from the rights holder unless it is certain that your use is permitted by the Copyright Act.
While many discussions of copyright are reliable and based on law and fact, there are numerous misconceptions and inaccuracies that have become part of the public lore regarding copyright. Not everything written on the Internet about copyright law is true, even if it may be eligible for copyright protection. Creators and content users need to know the real copyright rules and follow them. Spread the word—in your own language, of course, without copying anyone else’s content without permission. n
1. Redd v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-10444 (C.D. Cal. filed Dec. 17, 2018); Ribeiro v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-10412 (C.D. Cal. filed Dec. 17, 2018); Ferguson v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-10110 (C.D. Cal. filed Dec. 5, 2018). All three lawsuits were retracted in March 2019 because the complaints were based on applications for reg- istration and not registered copyrights. See the related discussion under myth #3.
2. Williams v. Gaye, 895 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2018).
3. 17 U.S.C. §§ 102(a), 302. This term of protection applies to works created on or after January 1, 1978. Protec- tion for unpublished works owned by an entity is 120 years from the date of creation. Copyright protection expires on December 31 of the applicable year. Id. § 305.
4. Id. § 304.
5. See Anandashankar Mazumdar, Published Works Enter the Public Domain in the United States for First Time in Twenty Years, Copyright: Creativity at Work (Jan. 4, 2019), https://blogs.loc.gov/copyright/2019/01/ publicdomain/.
6. 17 U.S.C. § 105.
7. Code Revision Comm’n v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 906 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2018).
8. 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2). Additionally, if copyright management information such as a copyright notice or other
identifying information about a work available online is removed when the work is used without authorization, the rights holder is entitled to additional statutory damages up to $2,500 per work, regardless of whether the work is reg- istered. Id. § 1202(c)(3).
9. Id. § 301(a).
10. Id. § 102(a).
11. 139 S. Ct. 881 (2019) (holding that copyright owners cannot file a copyright infringement lawsuit until the
Copyright Office has issued a certificate of registration (or a refusal of registration) for the work allegedly infringed instead of relying on an application for registration of copyrights); see also 17 U.S.C. § 411.
12. 17 U.S.C. § 412.
13. Id. §§ 502–505. The Supreme Court recently clarified that “full costs” available to a party in copyright litiga- tion only extends to six enumerated categories specified in the general costs statute, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1821, 1920, and does not include costs for expert witness fees, jury consulting fees, or e-discovery fees. See Rimini St., Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc., 139 S. Ct. 873 (2019).
14. 17 U.S.C. § 410(c).
15. Id. § 502. For details on the application process, see Intell. Prop. Rts. e-Recordation, https://iprr.cbp.gov/ (last visited June 12, 2019).
16. For the current fee schedule, see Fees, U.S. Copyright Off., https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html (last visited June 12, 2019). In 2018, the Copyright Office proposed a new fee schedule, see 83 Fed. Reg. 24,054 (May 24, 2018), and new fees may be adopted in the near future.
17. 17 U.S.C. §§ 107–112, 117, 119, 121–122.
18. Id. § 107.
19. Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enters., 471 U.S. 539 (1985). 20. Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, 410 F.3d 792 (6th Cir. 2005).
Published in Landslide Volume 11, Number 6, ©2019 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.