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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MBBP Attorney to Host Office Hours at TechSandBox on October 20, 2015

On Tuesday, October 20th MBBP Attorney Howard Zharoff will host Office Hours at TechSandBox, providing legal guidance on topics that include licensing, partnering, and copyright, as well as on general business matters. These pro bono sessions give you access to experts in topics such as intellectual property, business formation, benefits, taxes, marketing, sales funding, IT and …

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Supreme Court Rules Aereo’s T.V. Streaming Services Violate Copyright Law

By: Sheri Mason On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, Inc.’s T.V. streaming services violate U.S. copyright law, reversing the Second Circuit’s decision that held that Aereo’s system (which consists of tiny antennas housed in a centralized location) “amounted to nothing more than a cloud-computing version of old fashion rabbit ears …

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Howard Zaharoff Featured as Speaker in Copyright and Trademark Law Event

On December 8th, The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Boston Bar Association Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Committee hosted an event titled “TWO LAWYERS WALK INTO A BAR…Protecting Jokes Through Copyright and Trademark Law.” MBBP Attorney Howard Zaharoff, along with Attorney and VLA Director Jim Grace, discussed …

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Faith Kasparian Featured in Voices of the Bar in BBA E-Newsletter

In a recent Boston Bar Association E-Newsletter, the Voices of the Bar segment asked BBA members; If you could own the copyright to any written work, piece of music, photo or computer software, what would it be? MBBP Attorney Faith Kasparian's response was featured in the newsletter: I have never liked stories whose endings are …

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