“Hot yoga” studios can breathe more freely (not a Bikram exercise…) as they teach—the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the popular yoga practice is not entitled to copyright protection. Though Bikram Choudhury still holds copyright in the books, diagrams, and videos that he sells, he cannot assert copyright in the postures. Judge Kim Wardlaw noted that if Choudhury’s claim were validated, it would be equally valid for many physical movements to be copyrighted, “from brushing one’s teeth to pushing a lawnmower…”
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Google’s digitization of millions of books is not a violation of copyright law, rejecting Authors Guild assertions that the digital book project constitutes copyright infringement. The decision stated that displaying snippets of content is a limited, transformative use that does not violate the law.
Users of the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” may sue Warner/Chappell to recoup millions of dollars of royalties paid since 1988, given a September 22, 2015, ruling by federal Judge George H. King in Los Angeles. The song’s long and convoluted history of rights asserted and rights litigated may continue if Warner/Chappell decides to appeal the decision that they never had the right to impose royalties.
Donald Trump used R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” without authorization at a rally in early September. The band, not pleased, posted a cease and desist statement on Facebook, followed by vehemently profane reactions elsewhere. Links are provided in the article below.
Survivor’s founder, Jim Peterik, song co-author Frankie Sullivan, and record label EMI expressed concern regarding the use of “Eye of the Tiger” without rights holder permission. All are dismayed at the potential association of the song with Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee.
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