Category Archives: Copyright Office Updates

Library of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights Qualifications

In October 2016, the new Librarian of Congress dismissed the then-current Register of Copyrights and named an interim Register. On Friday, the Library of Congress announced that it is seeking public input regarding the qualifications the public would like considered during the search for a new Register. Comments may be provided through January 31, 2017 via an online survey found here. The Library specified that it is seeking comments regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register position. This initiative comes shortly after a December 8, 2016 announcement by the House Judiciary Committee that it is considering a proposal to split the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress.

 

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U.S. Copyright Office Announces New Rule Governing Designation of Copyright Agents

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects eligible internet platforms from secondary liability for copyright infringement under the “safe harbor” of 17 U.S.C. § 512. One condition of safe harbor protection is that any platform seeking protection must designate one or more copyright agents with the U.S. Copyright Office to receive notices from copyright owners claiming infringement. Recently, the Copyright Office announced a new rule governing designation of such agents to receive notification of claimed infringement.  Specifically, the Copyright Office is moving from a paper system to a searchable, electronic database of designated agents.  All internet platforms seeking continued safe harbor eligibility must update their designated agent information in the new database. Designation of agents under the new system began on December 1, 2016 and agents must be re-designated by December 31, 2017.

Click here to read more on the Finnegan website.

 

DISCLAIMER: Although we wish to hear from you, information exchanged in this blog cannot and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post any information that you consider to be personal or confidential. If you wish for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP to consider representing you, in order to establish an attorney-client relationship you must first enter a written representation agreement with Finnegan. Contact us for additional information. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. Additional disclaimer information.

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Score One for the Copyright Office: Sixth Circuit Finds Copyright Registrations for Cheerleading Uniforms Valid

On August 19, 2015, in a 2-1 majority opinion, the Sixth Circuit weighed in on the level of deference due to the Copyright Office’s determinations of registrability, as well as the proper approach to determining whether pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features can be identified separately from the utilitarian aspects of a useful article.

Varsity Brands, Inc., Varsity Spirit Corporation, and Varsity Spirit Fashion & Supplies, Inc. (collectively “Varsity”) design and manufacture apparel for cheerleading and other athletic activities.  Varsity obtained copyright registrations for “two-dimensional artwork” for many of its designs, including the following: Continue reading

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