Stop! Collaborate and Listen – Copyrights
One of the more famous legal cases occurred when David Bowie and Queen sued Vanilla Ice for copyright infringement. They said that Ice used notes from their Under Pressure song in his Ice Ice Baby song. In defending himself, Ice said he added an extra beat…..literally. The two sides ultimately settled, but this is a classic copyright infringement case. Check out the articles below for some other examples:
- Nine most notorious copyright cases in music history – BBC Culture
- The 10 Most Famous Copyright Cases in Photography – Pixsy
- 11 Times Video Games Led to Lawsuits | Mental Floss
Essentially, copyrights protect creators of original content from unauthorized use or duplication. Copyrighted items can include music, photos, writings, software and architecture. A work or creation is considered original if the author created it from independent thinking. A copyright is protected as soon as its attached to a tangible medium (e.g., written on a piece of paper, recorded on an audiotape or videotape, stored on a flash drive or in the cloud).
The easiest way to notify others of copyright protection is to register the work with the US Copyright Office. The time for approval can take approximately a year depending on whether you submit the application electronically or by hard copy.
Once approved, the original copyright owners are protected by copyright laws the rest of their lives and 70 years after their death. If the owner is an entity like a corporation, then the protection period is 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years after creation, whichever expires first. FYI, these timeframes were updated in 1998 (prior version was the Copyright Act of 1976) pursuant to the passage of the Sonny Bono Act or Mickey Mouse Protection Act.
If you think you have a work worthy of being copyrighted, I suggest you engage an experienced intellectual property attorney to help you navigate the process. Next week, we will review patents.
Here are some other items of interest:
- Big Business and Labor Unions Flood FTC With 25,000 Comments on Non-Compete Rule (msn.com)
- Small Businesses are Against Expanded IRS Enforcement (nfib.com)
- Economic Review: Q2 2023 – Silvercrest (silvercrestgroup.com) (thanks to Sean O’Dowd for sharing)
- Buying and Selling a Business – Tax and Valuation Considerations – April 26, 2023 (thanks to Anthony Citrolo from NYBB Group for sharing)
- Smart Business Dealmakers Conference – April 26, 2023 (thanks to Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors for sharing)
As always, please don’t hesitate to email myself (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andy Miller (email@example.com), Christian Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), Erik Spurlin (email@example.com), Brad Leber (firstname.lastname@example.org) or anyone in our office with questions or comments.