In January 2024, UNIQLO CO., LTD. (UNIQLO) announced that it had filed a lawsuit before the Tokyo District Court against Roadget Business Pte. Ltd., Fashion Choice Pte. Ltd., and SHEIN Japan Co., Ltd. (collectively, SHEIN Parties). UNIQLO alleges that the SHEIN Parties have infringed Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act by selling dupes of UNIQLO’s popular round mini shoulder bag, which went viral on TikTok last year due to its minimalistic, water-repellent exterior and ability to hold a surprisingly large volume of products for its size. UNIQLO is demanding that the SHEIN parties cease selling the dupe bags and pay damages incurred as a result of sale of the SHEIN Parties’ dupe products.Read More
An initiative to create a voluntary code of practice on copyright and Generative AI (“Gen AI”) has failed to reach an agreement. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), who led the conversations that started mid-2023, has not been able to reach consensus within the working group in relation to the use of copyright protected works to train Gen AI models. The announcement is a disappointment to many including the creative industry, who were awaiting clarification on their position in protecting their works and retrieving compensation, and technology industry who were seeking clarity how future technologies can be developed.Read More
On 26 January2024, a federal jury in Los Angeles handed down its verdict in one of the first copyright infringement cases to grapple with fair use after the Supreme Court’s 2023 Warhol decision.1 The trial concerned a dispute over a tattoo inked by Katherine Von Drachenberg (known as Kat Von D), and related social media posts. In the Kat Von D case, plaintiff Jeffrey Sedlik argued the tattoo and posts infringed upon his copyright in a photograph of jazz musician Miles Davis that was indisputably utilized to create the tattoo and featured in one of the posts. Emphasizing the case-specific nature of fair use, the Los Angeles jury handed down a complete defense verdict.Read More
In a decision dated 11 December 2023, the Copyright Review Board of the United States Copyright Office affirmed the Office’s refusal to register an AI-generated artwork submitted by Ankit Sahni.Read More
In a decision closely watched by the visual arts community and content creators alike, the U.S. Supreme Court held on May 19, 2023, that pop artist Andy Warhol’s orange silkscreen portrait of the musician Prince (“Orange Prince”), adapted from photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s original photograph of Prince, was not “fair use” under copyright law. Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, 598 U.S. _ (2023).Read More
Generative AI systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E have been attracting media attention for their potential to cause disruption across a range of industries. In a recent report, Goldman Sachs estimated that generative AI systems could impact 300 million full-jobs globally. In the same report, Goldman Sachs found that the same AI systems could also boost global productivity and lead to a 7% increase in annual global GDP.Read More
On 24 November 2022, the Australian Attorney-General the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP announced the Attorney-General’s Department intention to release an issues paper for public consultation, as the first stage of a review into Australia’s current copyright enforcement regime. The broad aim of the review is to understand:
- Current and emerging copyright enforcement priorities and challenges;
- Whether Australia’s copyright enforcement regime remains relevant, effective and proportionate; and
- Whether existing enforcement mechanisms need to be strengthened, and if so, how this could be done without imposing unreasonable administrative or economic burdens.
The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that merely removing copyright management information (CMI), without showing that that defendant knew or would have reason to know that its actions would induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal a copyright infringement is insufficient to meet the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) requirements for liability for wrongful removal of CMI.1
CMI typically consists of items such as title and authorship. In the digital world, CMI frequently is provided in metadata, essentially background technical data about a digital work. Metadata is a set of data that describes and provides information about other data. CMI typically is included in the metadata embedded in photographs, videos, documents, and other digital media. When distributing a digital work, the metadata, including CMI, may be altered in the course of reformatting the work, typically to reduce the size of the work.Read More
High-end outdoor clothing brand Patagonia Inc is taking on fast fashion retailer Gap for copying its “iconic” fleece jacket design. Patagonia Inc has filed court proceedings in the Federal Court.
In a complaint filed on 22 November 2022, Patagonia alleges that Gap willfully and deliberately copied the fleece design through the creation and sale of its “Mockneck Pullover” jackets, mimicking the flap pocket and rectangular logo of Patagonia’s classic “Snap-T” fleece jackets (shown below).
Considering the UK’s rich history of literature, it may be somewhat surprising to know that there was very little case law discussing whether copyright might subsist in a fictional character. However, on 8 June 2022, the UK courts finally tackled whether a fictional character can be protected under copyright law in Shazam Productions Ltd v Only Fools The Dining Experience Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1379 (IPEC).Read More