Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending December 14, 2018

Weekly IP Buzz for the week ending December 14, 2018

Here’s a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending December 14, 2018.

Etsy Lawsuit Involving Beer Eye Chart

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Website portals such as Etsy and DeviantArt have allowed consumers to commission and purchase products that are often considered “fan art” such as the “Beer Eye Chart” because the works of art are inspired by the artists’ favorite television series, comics, or book series.

While this practice, like fan-fiction, has generally been allowed because the costs of pursuing litigation is either too costly or would paint the companies in a negative light among their target audiences, the tides seem to be changing. Fan-fiction is where fans of a certain book series, television series, etc., may take the same characters from the series but spin different tales about them. Previously, most brands would not pursue action against authors of fan-fiction because the fan-fiction would often increase brand awareness, promote positive views of the brand, and were often limited in the audience that they reached. Fan-fiction was also often distributed free-of-charge among online fan groups or email lists.

Now, however, fan-created merchandise has created more complex issues. A quick search among websites such as Etsy will return several results of goods for sale that are based upon or inspired by entertainment series. The distinct difference between such merchandise and fan-fiction is that such merchandise is offered for sale and for mass distribution. For example, it is common to see crocheted products, coasters, stickers, etc., that include the likeness of reality television stars. And it was only a matter of time before copyright infringement became an issue among such markets.

Read the full article here.

Music Industry Battles Internet Service Provider (ISP) Over Copyright Infringement

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A Texas internet service provider (“ISP”) has taken to federal court to complain about the increased pressure from the music industry to monitor copyright infringement. In a federal filing, Texas ISP Grande Communications (“Grande”) has complained to federal court that record companies from the music industry have attempted to increasingly shift the burden of policing copyright infringement of their copyrighted works by abusing the use of legal takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

Read more here.

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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and business law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.

Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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