Category: Popular

All the popular posts want to belong to this category — which is really a catch-all for posts on popular intellectual property topics rather than a bin for lost hats or insane replicant theories of how the universe was created.

Hey, Don’t Bogart My Trademark!

Given Bogart's iconic role as Burberry model, it is no surprise to see his face on the timeline along with the likes of Tyrone Power, but you probably didn't expect to see his estate suing Burberry for using his image without the heirs permission.

It is undisputed that Bogart liked his Burberry trenchcoat.

No, wait, I take that back.

He loved his Burberry trenchcoat.

In fact, he loved it so much that he actually wore the same coat in the two films that still serve as templates for how to bring hardboiled detective noir to the silver screen -- Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (1946).

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Owning Copyright

Today the European Court of Justice ruled that software is like a book. Once you buy it, you can lend it, you can resell it, you can light it on fire, you can lose it, you can laugh when it crashes your computer, and you can transfer it electronically. Although the Court was far too recondite to articulate the true implication of their ruling, the upshot really is that – at least in the EU – if you buy software, you “own” it.

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First Sale!! First Sale!!

The United States Supreme Court is soon to hear the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., which involves the application of the copyright laws to the time-honored American tradition of buying cheap and selling dear.

The facts in Kirtsaeng are straightforward. A foreign graduate student studying mathematics at USC realizes one day that he can buy educational textbooks in his home country – in English – at a fraction of the price the publisher is selling them for in the United States. He decides to capitalize

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Creative Copyrights

Many of us applauded the vision behind the Creative Commons project in the same way we applauded Open Source. When Larry Lessig came up with the idea for the Creative Commons, he intended to create an alternative licensing system that would solve the problems with copyright registration in the United States. While admirable, what he did in some respects served to enshrine the current copyright regime . . .

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Borrowing Genius

Some might say that there is neither rhyme nor reason to the rule of plagiarism when the great Bard himself was a creative "borrower." No one tries to plagiarize Shakespeare because – among other reasons – getting caught is a foregone conclusion. But occasionally an intemperate, hot-blooded youth will think a little borrowing and re-mixing is simply fair play

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