Tag Archives: copyrights

Ennio Morricone Loses Bid to Reclaim Rights to Film Scores

Ennio Morricone, the famed 88-year-old Italian composer, has lost a lawsuit aimed at grabbing back rights to film scores for Cosi Come Sei (Stay As You Are), Il Giocattolo (A Dangerous Toy) and Un Sacco Bello (Fun Is Beautiful). On Friday, in a case that had a New York judge reviewing Italian copyright law, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest granted summary judgment in favor of Bixio Music Group, the publisher assigned rights decades ago.

Morricone scored the films in the late 1970s and early 1980s pursuant to agreements with Bixio, which had its own contracts with film producers. The composer transferred to Bixio all rights in the works in exchange for three million Italian lira, the right to credits, and the right to a portion of the proceeds from use of the scores.

In 2012, Morricone sent termination notices over six film scores pursuant to the 1976 Copyright Act. In November 2016, he filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that he indeed was successful in his termination.

The law, however, doesn’t allow “works for hire” to be terminated. Both Morricone and Bixio agreed that the film scores were commissioned works, but disagreed on the import.

Under American law, what matters is whether there’s a written instrument attesting to a “work made for hire,” meaning that the publisher is deemed the author. Some courts further analyze the situation by looking at whether an employer induced the creation of the work and had the right to direct and supervise the manner in which the work was carried out.

Read Full – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/ennio-morricone-loses-legal-bid-reclaim-rights-film-scores-1046947

Disney Fights Unlicensed ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Frozen’ Characters at Children’s Birthday Parties

Yes, Hollywood studios tend to be fiercely protective of their intellectual property. These studios will often sue over unlicensed merchandise in the marketplace. Usually, these cases go away quickly and quietly. The defendants tend not to have the resources to fight back. Settlements and stipulated judgments are the norm. Well, not this time.

On Friday, summary judgment papers came in a lawsuit that Disney has filed in New York against Nick Sarelli, who runs an operation called Characters for Hire, LLC.

Disney alleges that Sarelli has a “knock-off business … built upon the infringement of Plaintiffs’ highly valuable intellectual property rights,” including the fictional characters Darth Vader, Iron Man and Elsa and Anna from Frozen. Disney is upset how this company “provides unlicensed and poor quality appearances and performances” by actors dressed as “iconic characters for themed events, such as children’s parties.”

The lawsuit claims that the costumed actors appearing at these events and the advertising associated with this enterprise represent a violation of both its copyrights and trademark rights.

Anyone who has ever visited Times Square in New York City might wonder about the costumed characters taking pictures with tourists for money. The New York Police Department once even tried to get Disney to crack down. Disney didn’t take the bait, but for whatever reason, Mickey Mouse has put its foot down for Characters for Hire.

Read Full – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/disney-fights-unlicensed-star-wars-frozen-characters-at-childrens-birthday-parties-1049247

Hollywood Confronts a Copyright Argument With Potential for Mass Disruption

 9:50am PT by Eriq Gardner

Who really owns the CG characters in blockbuster films like ‘Avengers’ and ‘Night at the Museum’? On Monday, a judge was told it’s not the studios.

Are some of Hollywood’s biggest movies from the past decade — Guardians of the GalaxyAvengers: Age of UltronDeadpool and Night at the Museum, among others — all copyright infringements because they were allegedly created with stolen technology? The question seems outlandish, and yet, that’s exactly what a California federal judge was told on Monday in a case that can’t be shrugged off as a crank even if it is now treading on some fantastic territory including a scholar’s search for hidden codes in the Hebrew Bible.

Rearden LLC is the plaintiff. The firm was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Perlman, who claims to own software called MOVA, which captures facial expressions to create photorealistic computer graphic effects. Rearden also alleges its technology was stolen by a former colleague before eventually landing in the hands of a Chinese firm. After the FBI investigated economic espionage, Rearden sued this Chinese company and won an injunction. Now, Rearden is suing the customers of the stolen technology — DisneyFox and Paramount — who find their blockbusters the subject of bold intellectual property claims.

In response to the lawsuit, the studios have contended that that the copyright, trademark and patent claims fail as a matter of law. This story will focus on the mind-blowing copyright arguments.

At this stage of the dispute, the studios can’t dispute the truth of the allegations — not only did they use stolen technology, they did so knowingly. But Disney, Fox and Paramount ask, so what? Whatever shows up onscreen is primarily the product of human input, namely film direction and an actor’s performance. The technology company simply can’t own the output.

“Indeed, if Rearden’s authorship-ownership theory were law, then Adobe or Microsoft would be deemed to be the author-owner of whatever expressive works the users of Photoshop or Word generate by using those programs,” wrote Kelly Klaus, attorney for the defendants, who also nodded to an 1884 Supreme Court opinion, Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony.

Full Read – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/hollywood-confronts-a-copyright-argument-potential-mass-disruption-1049516

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We have dealt with wide range of Angie copyright issues concerning software, digital music, publishing, kid books, graphic design, and more. Copyright law awards a copyright owner a set of exclusive rights to his or her appearance of an idea or information. American copyright may survive in a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, comprising poems, plays, novels, movies, musical compositions and recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and software.


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American Copyright Infringement

American copyright infringement occurs when the unlawful use of the protected work violates the rights of the owner. American copyright infringement has come to be very problem oriented with the introduction of the Internet. Before the web American copyright infringement was much easier to catch.


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