Tag: Substantial Similarity

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“Levitating” Lawsuits: Understanding Dua Lipa’s Copyright Infringement Troubles
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In Role-Playing Card Games, Where is the Line Between Protectable Expression and Unprotectable Rules of the Game?

“Levitating” Lawsuits: Understanding Dua Lipa’s Copyright Infringement Troubles

Even global stardom will not make copyright woes levitate away from British superstar Dua Lipa. The pop icon is making headlines following a week of back-to-back, bi-coastal lawsuits alleging copyright infringement with her hit “Levitating.” First, on Tuesday March 1st, members of reggae band Artikal Sound System sued Dua Lipa for copyright infringement in a Los Angeles federal district court1. Then, on Friday March 4th, songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer filed their own copyright infringement lawsuit against the pop star in a New York federal district court2. Both lawsuits were filed claiming violations of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq.3

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In Role-Playing Card Games, Where is the Line Between Protectable Expression and Unprotectable Rules of the Game?

By Mark Wittow and Eliza Hall

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas recently examined the scope of copyright protection for role-playing card games, parsing the use of parallel themes and characters.  The court ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of a distributor accused of infringing a role-playing card game by creating a substantially similar game, but in a parallel (different) setting. This case provides guidance to companies that create games in traditional or digital media, clarifying where the line should be drawn between the protectable expressive aspects of a game and unprotectable rules or underlying ideas and concepts. The court’s decision also provides a helpful illustration of the differing standards applied to motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment.

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