US Supreme Court Opens Door for Once-barred Copyright Claims

US Supreme Court Opens Door for Once-barred Copyright ClaimsEarlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question of when a copyright plaintiff must file an infringement claim or be barred from suing by statute of limitations. The case was Warner Chappell v. Nealy Music, Inc.

The controversy arose because the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal were in disagreement whether limitations under 17 U.S.C. Section 507(b) required that suit be filed within three years of the infringing event or whether a plaintiff could sue when it discovered, or should have discovered, the infringement even though beyond the three-year limit for suit. Continue reading

Your Voice is Your Identity

In 1992, a jury awarded the singer Tom Waits the equivalent of $6 million in today’s dollars because Frito-Lay used a voice-alike in its Doritos ad and misappropriated his right to publicity. Bette Midler, Shirley Booth, and Bert Lahr also sued advertisers who used their voice-alikes in ads.

The reason for the lawsuits is that a distinctive voice is a recognizable component of a person’s identity, and the use of a person’s identity without consent to sell goods violates their right of publicity. With new technology, there will be many new incidents.

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