Version Control Blues: Failure to Keep Copy of Registered Version of Source Code Dooms Copyright Infringement Claim

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sebastian Fuss
A recent First Circuit decision highlights the importance of keeping records of revisions to computer software in copyright infringement cases.  The court affirmed summary judgment against the plaintiff because the source code it used to prove infringement was from a later version of the software than the one registered.  The court reasoned that without comparison to the source code of the version actually registered, the plaintiff could not prove that the copied code came from the registered version. [Read more…]

District Court Applies Irrebutable Presumption Of Ownership From False Authorship Claim On Registration









In what can only be described as a stunning case of confusion between the Section 410 evidentiary presumption afforded certain copyright registrations and a fraud on the Copyright Office challenge to the underlying validity of a copyright registration, a court in the Central District of California refused to even consider a defendant’s challenge to the plaintiff’s copyright ownership merely because the plaintiff had obtained a registration falsely listing itself as the author of a fabric design.

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Recording Artists Set To Recapture Rights To Classic Albums

The upcoming war between recording artists and their slavemasters, er, I mean record labels, concerning termination of copyright transfers and the related work made for hire issue is a topic near and dear to my heart.  [Read more…]

Seventh Circuit: Modifications to Architectural Plan Made at Direction of Commissioning Party Held Not Sufficiently Original to Engender Copyright Protection

Creative Commons License photo credit: Johnnie Utah

On July 26, 2011, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal on summary judgment of an architectural copyright infringement claim in Nova Design Build, Inc. v. Grace Hotels, LLC.  The plaintiff architectural design firm sued a former client, alleging that the owner of a Holiday Inn Express location infringed the plaintiff’s “design copyright” (whatever that is) by building the hotel based upon the plaintiff’s plans after failing to pay all of the money allegedly due for those plans.

The district court had dismissed the case on the ground that the identifying materials submitted with the plaintiff’s copyright application were not “bona fide” copies and therefore the registration was invalid.  The court found that the original plans had been burgled from its offices (!) and therefore it had to re-construct the plans from memory.  The district court held that this fact was sufficient to invalidate the registration, foreclosing any relief for copyright infringement. [Read more…]