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News and Legal Cases - February 2019

EU Approves Revamped Copyright Rules, Which Would Force Internet Companies to Proactively Block Protected Content

European Union negotiators agreed Wednesday on codified language in a new set of sweeping copyright-reform rules - including a provision that would mandate YouTube and other internet platforms block copyrighted material when it's uploaded. YouTube in particular has been particularly vigorous in opposing the proposed changes to the laws.

Copyright Office Refuses Registration for 'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribeiro's "Carlton Dance"

The U.S. Copyright Office is skeptical about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro's ownership claim over the signature "Carlton Dance," which became famous after a 1991 episode of the Will Smith series.

Epic Games Pushes Back Against Lawsuit: 'No One Can Own a Dance Step'

Epic Games filed for rapper 2 Milly's lawsuit against the company regarding use of his dance move in the game to be dismissed on the grounds that the claim is at odds with free speech, according to court documents released Monday.

Wrestler Booker T is suing Activision for allegedly putting his alter ego in Black Ops 4

Professional wrestler Booker T. Huffman is suing games publisher Activision for allegedly putting his comic book character "G.I. Bro" in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Huffman filed a copyright complaint today based on similarities between G.I. Bro and the Black Ops character David "Prophet" Wilkes.

Will This Be the Year That Originality in Entertainment Goes on Trial?

The entertainment industry has long been accustomed to allegations of thievery. Few days go by when some studio or big-name artist isn't being hauled into court on claims of taking someone else's expression. Courts often play gatekeeper, though, and only rarely do copyright claims reach trial.

Finnish court rules on copyright in the film 'Iron Sky' - Kluwer Copyright Blog

The Finnish market court (Markkinaoikeus) has sided with the producers of the sci-fi feature film 'Iron Sky' in a copyright case (MAO:302/18) concerning rights in that movie. The market court dismissed the claims by animators and visual effects (VFX) technicians who asserted that the producers of the feature film had used the claimants' copyright-protected works...

Fiji Water Girl: From Photobombs to Lawsuit

Taking full advantage of her 15 minutes of fame, the model dubbed the "Fiji Water Girl" has now filed suit against the company. Kelly Steinbach stole the show on the Golden Globes red carpet, photobombing countless celebrities while holding Fiji water bottles.

Sued for Posting a Meme - That Just Happened

Last week, we blogged about Gigi Hadid getting sued for reposing a photo of herself on Instagram and the post received a lot of interest. So we thought we'd also let you know about Fiji Water Company, LLC getting sued for posting a meme on its social media feeds featuring the "Fiji Water Girl."

Kim Kardashian West sues fashion company that keeps tagging her on Instagram

Kim Kardashian West, celebrity, model, and makeup mogul, is suing Missguided, a fast fashion company, saying that the company's Instagram tags and posts rely on her likeness to sell clothes. Missguided is known for replicating celebrity fashion looks at more affordable prices, but Kardashian claims that the company illegally used her "persona and trademarks" to help sell those replica styles.

Tattoos, Video Games And Questions Of Copyright Reuse | Copyright Clearance Center

A recent New York Times article chronicles legal challenges around the reuse of tattoos in sports video games. The problem arises when a tattooed athlete grants permission to a game manufacturer to use his likeness, and his likeness includes the ink on his arms. Copyright comes into existence the moment something capable of copyright protection is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression."


On January 31, 2019, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh of California ruled that AMC could not avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit that alleged defendants stole a zombie-comic creators' characters, dialogue and plot for their series "Fear the Walking Dead"; a spinoff of AMC's hit-show "Walking Dead."

Netflix Sued Over 'Wild Wild Country' Footage of Controversial Guru

Netflix has been hit with a copyright infringement over its cult hit docuseries Wild Wild Country. The Osho International Foundation and filmmaker Michael Hilow on Thursday sued Netflix, along with Duplass Brothers Productions and directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way, claiming the docuseries used a substantial amount of their footage without consent.


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