We are proud to announce our client, Noam Krasniansky, will appear on Shark Tank tonight at 9pm PST to work out a deal with the Sharks regarding his product Bambooee. Congrats Noam!
Paramount Pictures is not happy about the way a Twitter user is sharing one of its movies. The Twitter user @555hz attempted to show the entire film “Top Gun” on Twitter through tweets of the film as frame-by-frame clips and images.
The Twitter user posted content from the film every half hour, generating over 1,500 tweets in one month. The user has gained a following of over 6,900 other Twitter users. The handle “@555hz” is suggested to reference the number of frames per second at which the film was being “shown” on Twitter. According to this calculation, the film could be tweeted in 7,000 postings at a rate of two tweets posted per hour. At this rate, the entire film would be on Twitter within 145 days.
Paramount obviously caught this well before the 145-day mark. The last frame was posted on Twitter on February 25, 2014, with Paramount threatening legal action. Paramount issued a Digital Millennium and Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice on February 21, 2014. The DMCA provides a safe harbor for internet service providers and imposes no liability on providers for transmitting information that may infringe a copyright. However, the DMCA requires that the providers remove material from their users’ websites when they receive proper notice that their users are engaging in acts of copyright infringement. This gives copyright holders an avenue to limit those who are infringing their rights.
Though Twitter has not removed @555hz from its site, the user has not posted any Tweets since February 25, 2014. Many of the tweets showing frames of the movie are still available on the user’s Twitter feed, while a few posts are unable to be seen, with the message, “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”
Generally, infringement of a film through the use of film clips would typically be seen on video-based platforms such as YouTube. Additionally, Twitter ostensibly seems like an unlikely candidate as a platform for viewing copyrighted materials, however we now know otherwise with advancements in social media that can lend to such potential infringements. So this case shows the ease, or maybe we should say creative ways, in which individuals may potentially infringe copyrighted material. It enforces the need for lawyers to be quick in responding to infringement (at two frames uploaded per hour, @555hz got quite far!), and the need for the law to keep up with the ways in which users may interact with developing platforms and technology.
We have a law clerk opening for a 3rd year law student or recent graduate pending bar results. Must have taken trademark law and preferably other IP courses in law school. Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.
Great story about a young innovator from the African country of Sierra Leone, creating important tools to help his community with limited resources. He lands an invitation from MIT to foster his abilities.
Here is some great insight into some potential issues with the recently passed Innovation Act of 2013. http://www.todaysengineer.org/2013/Dec/HR-3309.asp
The power of creating an incredible invention and having good counsel can be seen in a recent arbitration settlement in which the inventor of the Super Soaker, Lonnie Johnson Ph.D, was awarded $72.9 million in royalties against Hasbro. Although Johnson has over 80 patents, many of which we are sure relate to the Super Soaker or variations of it, Johnson was able to obtain this mammoth settlement based on a breach of contract of a more ambiguous nature rather than on any specific intellectual property. Namely, in a 1996 agreement, Hasbro agreed to pay Johnson royalties of 2 percent for “three-dimensional products” based on the appearance of the toy and 1 percent for “two-dimensional visual representations.” Negotiating such broad terms in his agreement opened the doors for Hasbro’s breach which ultimately led to this incredible settlement.
Just to put things in perspective, Johnson founded his company and licensed the Super Soaker for the first time in 1989, which generated more than $200 million in retail sales in the following two years.