30 votes
Accepted

Could the US abolish copyright?

There is no constitutional requirement that Congress provide copyright protection in the US. Congress could, if it so chooses, repeal Title 17 of the US Code, and afford no copyright protection ...
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30 votes
Accepted

Can someone replicate and freely use anyone's voice using AI?

Not copyright as such because that is about protecting a 'work' — a voice is not a 'work'. As the court said in one of the following examples, "A voice is not copyrightable. The sounds are not '...
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  • 5,598
25 votes
Accepted

Commissioned a logo that contains a stock image, can I still trademark it?

Not only can’t you trademark it, you can’t use it The original logo is covered by copyright which belongs, prima facie, to the original artist. It doesn’t matter that they are based in Russia; Russia ...
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  • 152k
25 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

The other answers get at this somewhat obliquely, but to be clear your assumption 7, that there is no substantial similarity, implies no infringement. Substantial similarity is an element of ...
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22 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

"Does B infringe copyright" is not really of any interest. The interesting question is "Can A convince a court that B infringes copyright". Normally, if you plan to write software ...
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  • 25.4k
21 votes
Accepted

Are works created by US government employees in the performance of their duties treated as public domain outside the US?

There are several official and unofficial sources that say that the public domain status of works of the US Federal Government only applies within the US. Specifically: "Government Works" on ...
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21 votes

Is there a license for Google's animal sound effects?

Interesting that they don't give a source and also don't link to anywhere (such as Wikimedia commons). So I assume that content is google's own. So generally speaking: No, when no license is provided, ...
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  • 959
20 votes

Who gets in trouble if a user uploads pirated content on an open platform?

The platform will get in trouble for copyright infringement. The disclaimer that you are not liable does not work, legally, since the person suing you hasn't agreed to the TOS on your webpage. You can ...
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  • 160k
19 votes
Accepted

Why did the First Amendment not override the Copyright Clause?

The Supreme Court generally treats the Copyright Clause and the First Amendment as complementary, not conflicting: The Copyright Clause and First Amendment were adopted close in time. This proximity ...
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  • 44.4k
10 votes

Benefits of registering copyright - Should I register or not?

Registering your copyright provides official proof of ownership, see Copyright Act, §53ff. It is not mandatory since you can use other means to argue that you own the copyright, but in case you want ...
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  • 160k
10 votes

Am I at risk by storing or using software that violates copyright?

If you copy copyrighted material without permission or another exemption, you are at risk It doesn’t matter if you know the material is subject to copyright, it doesn’t matter if you think you have ...
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  • 152k
8 votes

Can someone replicate and freely use anyone's voice using AI?

Copyright is the least of B's concerns Voice, like visual appearance, is an inherent trait of a person. It is not a creative work (let's not dive into philosophy here about creation of human beings). ...
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  • 20.1k
7 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

The answer to your question highly depends on the level of "expressed all features in a different way". If B only renamed all variables => not enough If B re-designed every algorithm of ...
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6 votes

Is there a license for Google's animal sound effects?

You can "use" Google's link to their sounds, e,g, a scorpion sound, but you cannot copy the content without their permission. It is not obvious whether you have been given permission to copy ...
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  • 160k
6 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

Copyright is all about expression so, if you mean the same thing by that term as copyright lawyers mean when they use it, there is no copyright issue, almost by definition.
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  • 7,346
5 votes

Are works created by US government employees in the performance of their duties treated as public domain outside the US?

In 1977, the US put the question of whether it could enforce US government copyrights in other nations to the members of the Universal Copyright Convention; in 1981, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/...
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5 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

A strategy for avoiding copyright infringement while copying the features is clean-room design, if used in the right manner. The person that created both apps can be secure if they don't work on any ...
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  • 169
5 votes

Is this copyright infringement?

If the statements in the question are all accurate, then there is no copyright infringement here. But note that statement 7: App b copied all 10 features from app a, but expressed all features in a ...
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4 votes
Accepted

How is a derivative work defined wrt "low entropy" artwork

There is no case law as yet However, the most likely situation is that there is no copyright in the original works because they are computer-generated. There is certainly copyright in the code that ...
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  • 152k
4 votes

Up to what point can an OS design and theme mimic another operating system?

There was a major lawsuit over this in the early 1990s, Apple v. Microsoft. Apple sued Microsoft for allegedly copying the look and feel of the Apple Macintosh in Microsoft Windows. The court ruled in ...
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  • 1,448
4 votes

Up to what point can an OS design and theme mimic another operating system?

how can a distro like LinuxFx and its Windows themes exist without being sued by Microsoft for plagiarism / copyright infringement? It's Microsoft's choice to either sue for copyright infringement or ...
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  • 17.7k
4 votes
Accepted

If "It's a wonderful life" is no longer in the public domain, what about contemporaneous publicity still images?

The question seems to misunderstand the case of Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207 (1990) (See the actual opinion.) First of all, the movie in question was Rear Window, not It's a Wonderful Life but that ...
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3 votes

Could the US abolish copyright?

Congress has the power to abolish all copyright laws and to abrogate any treaties that compel it to recognize copyright laws. But, under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution, private ...
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  • 134k
3 votes
Accepted

Advertisements and fair use

Fair use is always a fact-driven issue, and the details matter. That said, copying a single ad in order to criticism the ad, or comment on it, is very likely to be found to be fair use. If only a ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What are the bases for judging whether copyright infringment has taken place for artistic works?

The basic principle is that copyright never protects an idea, it only protects the expression of an idea. In the US, that rule is embodied in 17 USC 102(b) which provides that: (b) In no case does ...
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3 votes
Accepted

How can a video game like World of Warcraft include lots of pop-culture references?

Generally speaking pop-culture references, like literary references, are neither trademark infringement nor copyright infringement. Trademarks Often a referenced item is in fact not a trademark. Most ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Do design patents/copyright cover "remixing" of spare parts?

In your example is the spare part the subject of a design patent? I assume it is not. When you combine the spare part to create a “different product” does the finished product resemble the drawings in ...
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  • 7,346
3 votes

Are works created by US government employees in the performance of their duties treated as public domain outside the US?

Are works created by the USA government employees in the performance of their duties in public domain outside the USA? Yes (under U.S. law). The U.S. government does not have a copyright under U.S. ...
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  • 134k
3 votes
Accepted

How legal it is to use a famous movie phrase as the title of my next videogame. Details inside:

General Rules The rules on this vary somewhat by country. In some counties the is no trademark protection unless a mark is formally registers. In others use "in trade" offers a degree of ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What happens if multiple people inherit a copyright?

A copyright can be divided into as many pieces as the owners choose. Initially, all authors have a share m(an equal share unless they have an agreement on some other share arrangement), But each ...
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