October 2006
Volume 28 Number 5

Washington Monitor

The FCC has decided that Jay Leno's interview with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the "Tonight Show" was a bona fide news segment, and therefore Phil Angelides - the governor's opponent in the November election - is not entitled to equal air time on TV stations that carried the interview.

In the Matter of Equal Opportunities Complaint
Filed by Angelides For Governor Campaign
Federal Communications Commission Order (Oct. 26, 2006)

The Copyright Office has decided that all types of ringtones (monophonic, polyphonic and mastertones) qualify for statutory licenses, just like CDs and other music recordings, so music publishers cannot refuse to grant or charge more for ringtone licenses.

In the Matter of Mechanical and Digital
Phonorecord Delivery Rate
Adjustment Proceeding
Copyright Office Docket No. RF 2006-1

International Developments

The Canadian Supreme Court has held that newspapers are not entitled to republish, in electronic databases, articles by freelance writers, without their consent, despite a provision of Canadian copyright law that gives publishers the right to reproduce “any substantial part” of their works “in any material form whatsoever.”

Robertson v. Thomson Corp.
2006 SSC 43

WIPO has ordered the transfer of the domain “tomcruise.com” to actor Tom Cruise from a Canadian company that had been using it for an advertising website.

Tom Cruise v. Network Operations Center
WIPO Case No. D2006-0560

WIPO has ordered the transfer of the domain “waynerooney.com” to British soccer player Wayne Rooney from an Everton soccer fan who felt “betrayed” when Rooney moved to Manchester United.

Stoneygate 48 Limited v. Marshall
WIPO Case No. D2006-0916

Recent Cases


A federal appeals court has affirmed that “The DaVinci Code” is not substantially similar to, and thus did not infringe the copyright to, Lewis Perdue’s novel “Daughter of God.”

Brown v. Perdue
177 Fed.Appx. 121

2006 U.S.App.LEXIS 13877
(2nd Cir. 2006

DreamWorks and Warner Bros. will have to defend, at trial, a claim that their film "The Island" infringed the copyright to the movie "The Clonus Horror."

Clonus Associates v. DreamWorks, LLC
2006 WL 2466866

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 60353
(S.D.N.Y. 2006)

Beyonce’s recording of “Baby Boy” does not infringe the copyright to “Got a Little Bit of Love for You,” because the two songs are not substantially similar (even though both contain the common lyric “Every time I close my eyes”).

Armour v. Knowles
2006 WL 2713787

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 67783
(S.D.Tex. 2006)

A Missouri appeals court has affirmed a jury verdict awarding Tony Twist $15 million in the hockey player’s right of publicity case objecting to the use of his name for a gangster character in a comic book, because Twist’s name was used to sell comic books and products – not to make expressive comment about Twist as an athlete – and thus the use was not protected by the First Amendment.

Doe v. McFarlane
2006 WL 1677856

2006 Mo.App.LEXIS 876
pubopinions.nsf/ccd96539c3 fb13ce8625661f004 bc7da/
89e767d68a97 b6fe86257192004 ada2d?OpenDocument
(Mo.App. 2006)

Easyriders magazine did not invade a woman’s privacy when it published a photo of her baring her breasts at a pig roast for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Barnhart v. Paisano Publications LLC
2006 WL 2986531
(D.Md. 2006)



In the Law Reviews


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