Aaron J. Moss

Chair, Litigation Department
Fax 310-201-2314

Copyright Lately Blog

Copyright Lately Blog

News, insight and analysis on legal issues involving creative works and intellectual property rights.

Recent Blog Posts

  • The Beat (And Cher’s Lawsuit) Go On With New Ruling in Bono Copyright Dispute In a long-awaited decision, the court allows Cher’s royalty lawsuit to proceed despite copyright termination notices from Sonny Bono’s heirs. A Central District of California judge has denied Mary Bono’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit over composition royalties Cher claims are owed under her 1978 marital settlement agreement with Sonny Bono. The court’s March 14 ruling (read here) rejected the defendants’ assertion that copyright terminations served by Bono’s heirs effectively preempted Cher’s state law contract rights. This one has been a long-time... More
  • Copyright, Free Speech Clash in Dispute Over Cameron Boyce’s Final Film The copyright owner in Runt is seeking to enjoin director William Coakley from releasing a behind-the-scenes project about alleged on-set bullying and sexual harassment that it claims he fabricated. In 2019, actor Cameron Boyce, star of Disney franchises Jesse and Descendants, died tragically following a sudden epileptic seizure. At the time of his death, the 20-year-old Boyce was working on what would prove to be his final film, the independent coming-of-age drama Runt. Now, four years later, a lawsuit, sordid and... More
  • Why Astley’s New Soundalike Lawsuit Should Be Rickrolled Out Of Court Is Rick Astley’s right of publicity claim against Yung Gravy for “vocal impersonation” on a collision course with the federal Copyright Act? British singer Rick Astley is best known for “Never Gonna Give You Up,” a song people voluntarily listened to in 1987 and were tricked into listening to in 2007. Decide for yourself which is worse, although I should point out that in 1990 the song was part of a psychological torture campaign to force Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to... More
  • Artists Attack AI: Why The New Lawsuit Goes Too Far A group of artists has filed a first-of-its-kind copyright infringement lawsuit against the developers of popular AI art tools, but did they paint themselves into a corner? Depending upon who you ask, AI-generated art is either poised to thrust a photorealistic dagger into the throats of millions of commercial artists or is merely a kitschy fad with no lasting aesthetic value. While the truth almost certainly lies somewhere in between, there’s no denying the legitimate concerns expressed by many artists about... More
  • The Copyright Legacy of Martin Luther King Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream—and a copyright. Both still live on today. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” These words will be heard many times this weekend as we celebrate the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They are, of course, from King’s famous 1963 “I Have a... More
  • The 5 Worst Copyright Decisions of 2022 Remembering another lousy year with a countdown of the most ill-considered, unsatisfying and wrongly-decided copyright rulings of 2022 Global conflicts, surging inflation and a lingering pandemic have made for another pretty awful year. So what better way to commemorate 2022 than with a look at the worst copyright decisions from coast to coast? Remember: the smaller the numbers, the bigger the misses. Who’ll be number one this year? Only one way to find out. Let the countdown begin! 5. NOCO v.... More
  • Inside 2 Live Crew’s Latest Legal Battle: Copyright Termination Copyright termination and bankruptcy law collide as members of 2 Live Crew attempt to recapture rights in the group’s most notorious albums. In the late 80s and early 90s, hip-hop was controversial, and no group generated more controversy than 2 Live Crew. Granted, this was at a time when even thinly-veiled sexual innuendos by mainstream pop singers like Cyndi Lauper and Sheena Easton prompted congressional hearings. But 2 Live Crew’s lyrics were anything but subtle, and landmark legal actions soon followed. 2... More
  • Public Domain Day 2023 is Coming: Here’s What to Know A new crop of copyrighted works (including rights in a certain famous British detective) will enter the public domain in the United States on January 1, 2023. Here’s what it all means. Last month, Hulu announced that the upcoming third season of its Hardy Boys reboot would be the series’ last. While it’s certainly not unusual for streamers to cancel shows after only a few seasons, it also just so happens that the first three novels introducing the teenage sleuths are... More
  • Using AI Artwork to Avoid Copyright Infringement AI-generated art isn’t perfect, but it’s become a viable option for license-free set decoration in motion pictures and other commercial productions. Here’s what you need to know. Pandas, Monkeys and Clearance Culture “Nobody cleared the panda.” I was barely out of law school when a senior partner muttered those words as he handed me a scathing demand letter sent to one of the firm’s commercial director clients. The letter claimed that the director, an ad agency, and a popular theme park had all... More
  • 13 Spooky Copyright Cases, Just in Time for Halloween The only thing scarier than a slasher flick is a lawsuit. Here are some of the greatest copyright horror stories of all time, featuring such classics as “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween,” “Dracula,” “Ghostbusters” and. . . a creepy McDonalds character? It’s Halloween time again! The good news is after the holiday was effectively ruined for the last two years, we’re more or less back in business in 2022. The bad news is that Halloween falls on a Monday this... More