Topic: Copyright

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Grumpy Cat back in court

We previously reported on Grumpy Cat Limited’s big win in a copyright and trademark suit. As a recap, Grumpy Cat—the social-media-famous grimacing feline, or rather the holding company owned by her “parents”—filed a lawsuit after the defendants went beyond the scope of a licensing agreement to market a variety of Grumpy Cat-themed coffee products. According … Continue reading

Social Media, Copyright & Photographs

Many social media sites and pages encourage people to post and share photos. This activity creates an issue where the owner of the photos has not given permission for that use, as a photographer alleged in a recent Fifth Circuit case Stross v. Redfin Corp., ___ Fed. Appx. ___ (5th Cir. Apr. 9, 2018) (2018 … Continue reading

Submissions Now Open For Artificial Intelligence Stakeholders: Canada’s Copyright Act Review

Social media depends on digital technology, and the Canadian government has begun a review of Canada’s Copyright Act with a view to keep the copyright framework current in light of digital technology. Written submissions are now being solicited from all Canadians on Canada’s Copyright Act, as the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (“Committee”) … Continue reading

Me, Myself & ‘AI’

Human interactions with technology In the past few years, the use of social media has increased rapidly. A key feature of social media platforms and social media apps is the ability to interact with other people in ways that were not thought possible in previous generations.  With the click of a button, someone from the … Continue reading

Legal chatbots: something for nothing?

In June, we introduced the topic of chatbots and highlighted some key risks and concerns associated with this growing area of technology.  One business in particular, DoNotPay, made headlines recently by announcing that it would begin building legal chatbots for free. The claim? In a July 14, 2017, posting to the online publishing platform Medium, … Continue reading

The Battle for Copyright Protection in the Digital Era

The age of the Internet poses many new challenges to those individuals seeking to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights online. As the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada recently stated: “Under the cloak of anonymity on the internet, some can illegally copy, download, and distribute the intellectual property of others, such as movies, … Continue reading

Car websites “scraped” but only slightly dented

In Trader v CarGurus, 2017 ONSC 1841 (CanLII), the Ontario Court of Justice has opined on a number of points arising out of the 2012 copyright amendments introduced by the Copyright Modernization Act. The interesting points in the decision concern 1. making a work available to the public 2. fair dealing 3. when is framing … Continue reading

Liability for Hyperlinks: German Court Increases Responsibility of Website Operators

The Regional Court of Hamburg recently applied for the first time the new decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding the liability for hyperlinks and further increased the risks and responsibilities for social media website operators. The EU Court Decision The CJEU held in September 2016 that using a hyperlink … Continue reading

Social Media, Copyright, and Blockchain

Social media has changed how people and companies interact and has provided us with some technological innovations that have raised copyright issues. In an effort to keep our readers informed of some recent developments involving social media, we wanted to provide some background relating to some headlines combining social media, copyright, and blockchain, and we … Continue reading

Will reverse class actions facilitate online IP enforcement in Canada?

While the internet has created ample opportunities for IP rights holders to exploit their intellectual property rights online, it also poses significant challenges relating to the protection of those same IP rights from would-be infringers. The internet’s global reach combined with the sophistication and anonymity of most online users has created an environment where it … Continue reading

Internet’s ‘Hide and Seek’ Battle Continues in Canada

The anonymity of the Internet has posed many challenges to the protection of intellectual property rights. The sheer size of the population of online users and the millions of file-sharing programs and other social media outlets that exist have left IP rights holders struggling to protect their property and goodwill in the digital era. For … Continue reading

Social Media & IP Enforceability

Social media channels represent an exciting medium to reach out to the public and potential collaborators. Social media can also play an important role in helping generate positive buzz for organizations seeking to develop a market for their products or services.  For example, many of today’s companies gauge the depth of market interest in their … Continue reading

We’re back, with our top five social media stories of 2015

The Social Media Law Bulletin is back! The ongoing interest of our readers as well as the increasing impact of social media led us to re-launch the Social Media Law Bulletin. We will be bringing you coverage of one or two items approximately each week, but in the meantime, we thought we would give you … Continue reading

Who owns your Instagram content?

You do (at least as between you and Instagram—your employer may have ownership rights in certain situations)!  Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post. You do grant Instagram very broad license rights:  a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use content that you post. This license grant means … Continue reading

Legal considerations for social network APIs

An application programming interface (API) is a library or structured set of software tools that provides an interface to a backend software platform, such as a social networking platform, without providing direct access to the underlying source code of the platform. For example, Facebook™, Twitter™, Instagram™, LinkedIn™, Google Plus™, and Tumblr™ offer APIs so that … Continue reading

Agence France Presse v. Morel – THIRD UPDATE

We have posted previously on Agence France Presse v. Morel, the initial opinion of which was issued January 2013, as well as several updates in the case since then. The case so far Briefly summarizing the case so far, photographer Daniel Morel posted some photographs on Twitter.  Agence France Presse (“AFP”) copied eight of those … Continue reading

A picture can be worth a thousand links

From giant billboards on the highway to tiny pictures that can go viral within seconds, the use of social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr has revolutionized the advertising industry. Companies can now reach their target audiences more quickly and more effectively by taking advantage of instantaneous posting of pictures and blogs. The use … Continue reading
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