A Closer Look at the Righthaven Standing Issue

Cross-posted on the Copyhype blog. Love them or loathe them, notorious copyright enforcer Righthaven presents an interesting question of law: Does Righthaven, the assignee of a copyright plus the accrued causes of action, have standing to sue for past infringements if it grants back to its assignor, Stephens Media, an exclusive license to exploit the […]

“To Do” vs. “To Authorize”

Cross-posted on the Copyhype blog. On its face, the Copyright Act provides that copyright owners actually have two separate sets of rights. Section 106 of the Act gives copyright owners the exclusive rights “to do” and “to authorize” certain listed activities with their copyrighted works, including creating reproductions, making adaptations, distributing copies to the public, […]

Nimmer Changes His Tune: “Making Available” is Distribution

Cross-posted on the Copyhype blog. One topic of debate in copyright is over whether simply “making available” a file on a peer-to-peer network is itself a violation of the distribution right.1 The courts have been split on the issue.2 Professor Peter S. Menell explains the controversy: Interpreting “distribute” narrowly, some courts have held that copyright […]

Twitter’s Potential Secondary Liability

Cross-posted on the Copyhype blog. Last week, Seattle-based photographer Christopher Boffoli sued Twitter in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for contributory copyright infringement. Boffoli is well-known for his “Disparity Series,” which according to the complaint is “a series of art photographs featuring miniature figures in whimsical poses on fruit.” Seattle […]