Articles Posted in Copyright


It’s like a scene from the Wizard of Oz: Righthaven is almost dead as a corporate entity.

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Philip Pro ordered “the transfer of all of Righthaven’s intellectual property and intangible property” — including 278 registered works filed with the U.S. Copyright Office — to court-appointed receiver Lara Pearson tasked with breaking up Righthaven’s assets (read it below).

The order stemmed from an earlier judgment against Righthaven’s for $34,000+ in attorneys fees owed to Wayne Hoehn, a Vietnam vet who successfully got Righthaven’s copyright lawsuit against him dismissed.

Until last year, the Righthaven litigation machine shook down consumers for unfounded copyright violations to intellectual property. But Righthaven defendants had an epiphany moment.


The Associated Press (AP) filed a copyright lawsuit in federal court this morning against the Meltwater Group over the company’s Meltwater News product, charging that the competing site collects, stores, translates, and redistributes AP content to paid subscribers, but without paying the 165-year-old company a penny. Other online news aggregators like Google, Yahoo, and AOL pay licensing fees to use AP content, as do local and national newspapers and media sites.

According to the lawsuit, Meltwater generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2010, in part because it doesn’t pay a thing for content:


In pre-Super Bowl style, prosecutors charged a Michigan man with criminal copyright violations for allegedly operating nine (9) websites chock full of pirated sports broadcast videos (read the complaint below).

Separately, federal agents also seized a purported $4.8 million in knock-off Super Bowl merchandise imported into the U.S.

The U.S. Attorney’s message? Don’t risk any high-tech copyright shenanigans with unauthorized streams of this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI.


GOP candidate Newt Gingrich and his campaign were sued for copyright infringement in federal court yesterday for reportedly playing the band Survivor‘s “Eye of the Tiger” song at Gingrich campaign events, but without obtaining rights to do so (Read the lawsuit below).

Plaintiff Rude Music, Inc. is a music publishing company created by Survivor band member Frank M. Sullivan, III, and holder of rights to the song.

The defendants have some explaining to do, especially since Gingrich argued at a recent South Carolina GOP debate that copyright holders should sue to protect their intellectual property rights:


Snooki's "Snookify Me" app for iPhone and AndroidOn the Internet, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be rich and famous. Popularity can help! Take Snooki for example.

The MTV star extended the reach of her intellectual property by licensing rights to her name, images, and more in a “Snookify Me” app for the iPhone and Android. It lets users Snookify themselves and their pets.

SEC filings reveal that Snooki could make some serious dough from the deal. Oh, and there’s that stock thing too (see below).


A new antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of iPhone users could get rid of Apple’s exclusivity agreements (‘EA’) with AT&T and Verizon.

The class-action lawsuit (below) accuses Apple of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (‘DMCA’) because the EAs do not giving consumers the “absolute legal right to modify their phones to use the network of their carrier of choice.”

If the plaintiffs successfully get a court to let consumers opt-out of carrier EAs, the ripple effect could be be huge. A decision for plaintiffs could potentially affect all carriers and all mobile handsets sold with locked phones with sold with exclusivity agreements in the U.S., regardless of what mobile operating system they use.


Forty years after acquiring publishing rights to the award-winning children’s book “Julie of the Wolves” by author Jean Craighead George, HarperCollins is claiming copyright infringement by Open Road, a Manhattan e-book publisher distributing the work electronically via downloads on, Apple, and others e-commerce web sites.

The outcome of the litigation (read the lawsuit below) could be a bellwether for publishing houses that take their time to bring signed authors’ works into the e-publishing game, including ‘Big Six’ publishers like HarperCollins.


A federal indictment unsealed today alleges that a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack by a Connecticut resident who “was affiliated with Anonymous” brought down KISS band member Gene Simmons’ web site last year.

The felony charges allege that Poe and other unnamed co-conspirators used an open source software program to send large amounts of packets and requests to overwhelm servers and bring the musician’s e-commerce site down.

But why did the attacks target the outspoken KISS co-founder?


Going to the dentist can be an unnerving experience. It can also feel like you’re getting more than a tooth pulled if you’re asked to give up any rights to critique the dental work you’ve had done, and assign all copyrights to any comments you make about it to…the dentist.

Ouch! That hurts!

That’s what prompted patient Robert Allen Lee to sue his dentist, Dr. Stacy Makhnevich and the North Carolina company, Medical Justice, that created and sold Makhnevich patient consent forms with the restrictive language (Read the lawsuit below)


Record label UMG Recordings, Inc. sued Escape Media Group, Inc., the owner of online music streaming website Grooveshark, five of the company’s executives, and two other employees for alleged copyright infringement.

UMG’s newest lawsuit contains purported email exchanges with company director Sina Simantob alleging, in part, that Escape “bet the company on the fact that it is easier to beg forgiveness than ask [record labels] permission” to use their copyrighted works. (Read the full complaint below).