Intellectual property news and updates

Not such a Happy Birthday for Warner–Chappell

Warner–Chappell claim ownership of copyright in the lyrics for the famous song Happy Birthday to You and have made a lucrative business in licensing its use in commercial enterprises such as films, stage productions, television shows, restaurants and greeting cards. That business has been estimated to be worth in the region of £1.3 million…

Little birds tweet to the tune of infringement

Social media site Twitter is taking a ‘crackdown’ approach to copyright infringement, as they will withhold content they believe to be breaching other users’ rights. The policy gives users a contact email address and states that the company will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement which comply with applicable law. When…

An end to ‘Popcorn Time’

On 28th April 2015, the UK High Court issued a ‘website blocking order’ forcing Britain’s five main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk, BT and EE to block access to a number of so-called ‘Popcorn Time’ sites that provide Popcorn Time for download. The action was filed by the Motion Picture Association of America…

Use of Images and Photographs on the Internet: Do you have permission?

When searching for images on the internet, many are unaware that if they save and reuse the image, they may in fact be at risk of infringing rights in somebody else’s work. Whose images are you using? If you want to use an image or photograph on the internet, but you are not the creator of that image and did not take the photograph then…

Katy Perry dives into the deep end of a copyright dispute

Beach-themed backing dancers stole the spotlight from Katy Perry at the recent US Superbowl, leaving the singer at the centre of a dispute over copyright. The dancers, dressed as sharks, became a viral sensation as the “Left Shark” in Perry’s beach-themed half-time show didn't seem to know the dance moves. The awkward shark has even…

The copyright of Premier League football clips on social media

When clips of Premier League football goals are shared on social media, is it subject to copyright? We discuss the case for and against.

Wilson Gunn supports World IP Day

April 26 celebrates World IP Day with this year’s theme centred on “Movies – A Global Passion”. In support of World IP Day, we take a look at some interesting aspects of intellectual property in relation to the arts and copyright.

The Beatles and recent changes in European copyright law

Apple recently released 59 Beatles tracks on iTunes that were originally recorded in 1963, presumably, in response to recent changes in copyright law in the European Union on 1 November 2013.

Copyright and The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 is changing copyright law in the UK to enable the widespread commercial exploitation of images where the owner of copyright in an image cannot be identified. Under the Act these images, known as “orphaned works”, will be allowed to go into a collective licensing scheme for non-exclusive use by licensees paying a royalty.

Important change to UK copyright law

Section 52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 has been repealed. Section 52 limited the usual copyright term of life of the author, plus 70 years to a mere 25 years for certain artistic works, i.e. artistic works that are mass produced (more than 50 made).

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