News and Commentary
Matthew Higbee is one of the many copyright trolls engaging in extortive behavior online. But this most recent case is rather interesting: he targeted a nonprofit that used an image years ago, and subsequently offered to pay double the licensing fee ($160 total) as “actual damages,” since the work wasn’t registered. Higbee demanded $1,000 for infringement, despite the fact that the only person to have viewed the work in question was Higbee’s own client. Thankfully, lawyer Paul Levy is defending the nonprofit, The Society for Emblem Studies, from the extortionist Higbee.
While the most-watched case yesterday at the Supreme Court was New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, copyright nerds were more interested in Georgia v. PublicResource.org. PublicResource.org wanted to purchase an annotated set of the official Georgia code, so it can be posted on the web for free. Georgia argued that while the code itself is obviously not copyrightable, the annotations are.
China’s record on intellectual property (more specifically, its “theft”) is very complicated, and a great deal of controversy has emerged as China is nominating a candidate to head the World Intellectual Property Organization.
We’ve previously covered the Nirvana v. Jacobs copyright infringement case, and in the most recent development a judge in the Central District of California denied a motion to dismiss from the defendants Marc Jacobs, Saks, and Neiman Marcus.
The USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee released its 2019 annual report. It includes a number of summary statistics about the USPTO’s operations, including funding, pendency rates, and implementation of new eligibility guidelines.
The litigious Disney corporation caused a stir when a number of the “baby Yoda” gifs from its new show, The Mandalorian, were removed for copyright reasons. They’re mostly back, but the confusion about Disney’s willingness to enforce its copyrights (or to what degree using a gif of the character constitutes fair use) remains uncertain.