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Too Late Blues for Guitar Maker’s Copyright Ownership Claims

In Webster v. Dean Guitars, 2020 WL 1887783 (11th Cir. Apr. 16, 2020), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for a guitar manufacturer in a copyright dispute over the lightning storm graphic on “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott’s iconic guitar, known as “The Dean from Hell.”  The district court properly determined that the gravamen of the copyright...

Supreme Court Will Review Eleventh Circuit’s Decision that Official Code of Georgia Annotated Cannot Be Copyrighted

The Supreme Court yesterday granted certiorari to review the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 906 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2018), cert. granted, 2019 WL 1047486 (U.S. June 24, 2019). The question presented for review in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. is whether the principle that “government edicts,” such as statutes and judicial...

Eleventh Circuit Takes District Court to School Over Educational Fair-Use Copyright Dispute

In Cambridge University Press v. Albert, 2018 WL 5095004 (11th Cir. Oct. 19, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit issued its second decision in a decade-long dispute over Georgia State University’s practice of distributing digital excerpts of copyrighted works to students without paying a royalty.  The district court now faces its third trial to assess the fair-use defense as to 48 excerpted...

Laws for the People, By the People, Are Not Copyrightable

A March 23, 2017 order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia immediately prompted headlines such as “If you publish Georgia’s state laws, you’ll get sued for copyright and lose.”  The case, Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 244 F. Supp. 3d 1350 (N.D. Ga. 2017), examined whether the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (“O.C.G.A.”)...

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari on Copyright Issue

The Supreme Court this morning granted certiorari on a circuit split involving the Eleventh Circuit.  The Eleventh Circuit (along with the Eighth) has previously held that the fee provisions of the Copyright Act, which allow recovery of the “full costs” of attendance, do not displace general statutes that limit awards to taxable costs.  Artisan Contractors Ass’n of America, Inc. v....

Defendant Sails to Victory in Trade Secret Case

In Yellowfin Yachts, Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, 2018 WL 3734344 (11th Cir. Aug. 7, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of trade-secret claims related to the manufacture and sale of fishing boats.  Yellowfin Yachts is a manufacturer of high-end fishing boats, allegedly known in the marketplace for the “swept sheer line” of their boats. Yellowfin hired Kevin Barker in...

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