Copyright Office May Get $15 Million Budget Increase for 2017

The increase—about twenty-five percent over this year’s budget—could help towards the Copyright Office’s goal of making registration and other transactions simple, transparent, and technologically savvy, as laid out by the 5-year plan released by Maria Pallante, United States Register of Copyrights. It will also help pay for the overall administration and examination of copyrights done at the Copyright Office.  In 2015, the Copyright Office registered 443,812 claims to copyright in original works of authorship.  As noted by the Library of Congress, these include “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson) and “Alright” (Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams) as well as “nearly half-[a] million novels, poems, films, software, video games, music, photographs and other works submitted.”

Fox and Dish Network Reach Settlement in DVR Suit

The four-year dispute between Fox and Dish Network concerning Dish’s ad-skipping Hopper DVR has ended. Under the terms of the settlement, Dish Network has agreed to disable the Hopper’s ad-skipping technology in the seven days immediately following a program’s original broadcast. All four major television networks sued Dish in 2012, claiming that the Hopper’s ability to remove advertisements and send recorded programming to mobile devices created a video-on-demand service that infringed their copyrights and diminished ad revenue.

“Blurred Lines” Plaintiffs Seeking $3.5 Million in Fees

In a filing this week, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke opposed Marvin Gaye’s family’s application to recover their legal fees stemming from their successful “Blurred Lines” copyright infringement suit. In the filing, Williams and Thicke called the $3.5 million in fees “exorbitant.”

Martin Shkreli and RZA Sued in Connection With $2 Million Wu Tang Album

Martin Shkreli, who purchased the only existing copy of the Wu Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” for $2 million, and Wu Tang member Robert “RZA” Diggs have been sued along with two other defendants for allegedly using New York artist Jason Koza’s Wu-Tang fan art as an album cover without Koza’s permission.