Copyright Alert: Deadline for DMCA Registered Agents to Submit New Designation Electronically is Quickly Approaching

If you are a service provider that designated an agent with the Copyright Office prior to December 1, 2016, you must submit a new designation electronically using the online registration system by December 31, 2017. Any designation not made through the online registration system will expire and become invalid after December 31, 2017. We've posted a recap in this month's …

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Howard Zaharoff Highlights 2016 Copyright Legislative and Regulatory Developments

While many are reflecting on the key copyright cases of 2016, Howard Zaharoff states the necessity of noting the important copyright legislative and regulatory developments that also took place. In his most recent article, Copyright Law: Legislative and Regulatory Developments, Howard discusses developments by the House Judiciary Committee, the Small Copyright Claims Tribunal, and the new …

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Contours of Copyright #4: No Protection for Game Play

The battle between an Ancient Chinese themed game, and a Wild-West game, reminds us that rules of game play are generally not protectable by copyright, but certain expressive game aspects may be. Discussion: The plaintiff in DaVinci Editrice v. ZiKo Games (S.D. Tex. 2016) published Bang!, a role-playing card game with Wild-West themes that became …

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MBBP’s Howard Zaharoff Will Be a Panelist in Boston Bar’s 17th Annual Intellectual Property Year in Review

MBBP's Howard Zaharoff will be a panelist at this year's Boston Bar Association Intellectual Property Year in Review, one of Boston's premier annual IP events. Howard will be discussing some of the most important copyright developments of the past year, with his co-presenter, Attorney Lucy Lovrien. This annual panel has been organized for intellectual property specialists to …

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Copyright Alert: New Copyright Office Electronic System to Register Designated Agents Under the DMCA

Effective December 1, 2016, the US Copyright Office rolled out a new electronic system for the online registration of designated agents under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Consequently, all online service providers who want the benefit of the safe harbor against copyright infringement claims are required to register under the new electronic system or, if they’re …

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Howard Zaharoff and Erin Bryan Speaking at 2016 Intellectual Property Law Conference

Intellectual Property Law 2016: The 19th Annual New England Conference will take place on June 23rd at the MCLE Conference Center in Boston, MA. This conference will focus on new developments, trends, and industry-specific guidance that IP, business, and litigation counsel must know. MBBP attorneys Howard Zaharoff and Erin Bryan are both on the Faculty, with Howard …

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Howard Zaharoff & Faith Kasparian Quoted in Lawyer’s Weekly

On April 28, 2016, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper published the article titled "Ex-'View' co-host Hasselbeck survives copyright suit by author". This article explains how Susan Hasset, author of "Living with Celiac Disease", took Elisabeth Hasselbeck, author of "The G Free Diet" and "Deliciously G Free", to court accusing her of violating copyright infringement.  U.S. District court Judge George A. …

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The Contours of Copyright #3: Too Short for Copyright?

It is axiomatic that copyrights do not protect words or short phrases. But how short is too short for copyright? 10 words? 5 words? 3 words? Consider Henny Youngman’s classic 4-word joke, “Take my wife … please.” Is that a copyrightable jocular expression, or an uncopyrightable short phrase (or, for you copyright pros, a merged …

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The Contours of Copyright #2: Can You Copyright Yoga Poses?

By Howard Zaharoff Section 102 of the Copyright Act tells us that “choreographic works” – i.e., dances – are protected by copyright. So if you’re Alvin Ailey or Saroj Khan, the copyright police will protect you if someone copies or publicly performs your original choreography. But what if you’re Beto Perez, who created Zumba; or …

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The Contours of Copyright #1: Can You Copyright Fast Foods?

By Howard Zaharoff As broad and creator-centric as copyright is, it doesn’t protect every creative output. For example, as a recent case confirmed – to no one’s surprise (probably not even the plaintiff’s) – copyright does not protect chicken sandwiches, nor even chicken sandwich recipes, nor even chicken sandwich names, no matter how original. The …

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