Legal Links – Intellectual Property and Coworking Celebration Edition

August 2, 2019

What do recent headlines about tattoos, video games, and my favorite Katy Perry song have in common? The articles contain interesting lessons from the always complicated, but never dull (to me) world of intellectual property law. Let’s dive in:

Athletes Don’t Own Their Tattoos. That’s a Problem for Video Game Developers (The New York Times)

This article highlights some of the complexities of ownership and the right to use copyrightable works. Generally, despite being tattooed on someone’s body, the tattoo artist owns their creative illustrations. So what happens when video game developers recreate an NBA player’s likeness which includes their distinctive tattoos? You get a copyright infringement lawsuit over whether the video game developer has infringed upon the rights of the tattoo artist. For a more in-depth discussion of copyright, check out our article here.

Katy Perry and collaborators found guilty of copyright infringement over ‘Dark Horse’ (ABC News)

A jury in Los Angeles found that Katy Perry and her collaborators for the song “Dark Horse” copied the beat of a Christian rap song released in 2008 called “Joyful Noise”. In the link above, you can listen to each song and decide for yourself.

One of the elements of a copyright infringement claim is whether the work was copied, which can be proven by establishing the alleged infringer had access to the copyrighted work prior to the creation of the allegedly infringing work. In this case, despite Katy Perry’s testimony that she had never heard Joyful Noise, the plaintiffs persuasively argued that since early in her career, Perry was a Christian pop singer and due to the popularity of the track on YouTube and Spotify, Perry was likely to have heard the song.

Candy Factory hosts sweet free festival and shows off new expansion (LancasterOnline)

Tonight at 6:00 p.m., our favorite neighborhood coworking space, The Candy Factory, will host a community festival in celebration of nine years of coworking in Lancaster. The family-friendly festival will feature music, food, tours, and more.

Congratulations to Anne and the rest of the community at The Candy Factory!

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs. Matt is one of the founding members of the RKG Tech Law Group.