Timothy B. McCormack, attorney at law, discusses some one of the most cutting edge copyright actions in the United States – a copyright case handled by Timothy B. McCormack: subject to certain exceptions, 17 U.S.C. § 411 requires copyright holders to register their works in accordance with the requirements of the Copyright Act before bringing a claim for copyright infringement. See id. § 411(a).1 Thus, a party ordinarily must have a valid copyright registration in order to bring a claim for copyright infringement. See Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, — U.S. —-, —-, 130 S.Ct. 1237, 1242, 176 L.Ed.2d 17 (2010).2 Parties accused of copyright infringement often argue that inaccurate information submitted in an application for registration invalidates the copyright registration. In 2008, as part of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (PRO IP Act), however, Congress amended § 411 to provide that a certificate of registration satisfies the section’s requirements, “regardless of whether the certificate contains any inaccurate information, unless” the following two requirements are met:
Timothy B. McCormack, attorney at law, discusses some one of the most cutting edge copyright actions in the United States – a copyright case handled by Timothy B. McCormack: The Register notes the court’s concern regarding the structure of 17 U.S.C. § 41l(b)(2) and the potential that the provision might be abused by litigants. See, Footnote 4 of the Order on Motion for Issuance of Request to Register of Copyrights. Since the Office played an instrumental role in the amendment of 17 U.S.C. § 411(b)(2) as part of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, the Register takes this opportunity to relay its insight regarding the provision. The amendment to 17 U.S.C. § 41l(b)(2) was adopted in order to address situations in which courts of appeals have misunderstood Copyright Office registration practices and came to erroneous conclusions about alleged misstatements on applications for registration. See Raquel v. Education Management. Corp., 196 F.3d 171, 177 (3d Cir. Pa. 1999), vacated and remanded, 531 U.S. 952 (2000)(1). See also Greenberg V. National Geographic Society, 244 F.3d 1267. 1273 (11th Cir. Fla. 2001)(2). As a result of these decisions, 17 U.S.C. §411(b)(2) was amended to ensure that no court holds that a certificate is invalid due to what it considers to be a misstatement on an application without first obtaining the input of the Register as to whether the application was properly filed or, in the words of § 411(b)(2), “whether the inaccurate information, if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse registration.” The Register readily admits that in many, and perhaps even most, cases in which it is alleged that there is a misstatement on an application that might lead a court to conclude that the registration cannot be relied upon as satisfying the statutory prerequisite for an infringement suit, there may be little need for the assistance of the Register because the answer will be apparent. However, 17 U.S.C. § 411(b)(2) was enacted because a court will not always know what information would or would not make a difference in the Register’s determination whether to register a copyright.
Timothy B. McCormack, attorney, discusses AVOIDING COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN THE REALM OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT: Determining What Can Be Copied – Unprotected Elements: An algorithm in the most general sense is an uncopyrightable idea. As used below, the term “algorithm” refers to a “finite sequence of instructions, each of which has a clear meaning and can be performed with a finite amount of effort in a finite length of time.”(52) For example, an algorithm for Christmas shopping could be: (1) find appropriate gift, (2) purchase gift, (3) wrap gift, and (4) present gift to recipient. “When viewed from the highest level, algorithms represent the very essence of abstract ideas; as such, algorithms are ineligible for copyright or patent protection. . . . [and] always remain in the public domain.”
Timothy B. McCormack, attorney at law and Seattle copyright lawyer, has been writing about how not to infringe copyrights for years: One should presume that all postings on the Internet are copyrighted unless specifically stated otherwise or unless the postings fall into one of the categories of uncopyrightable material discussed below. Postings that are presumably copyrighted include: (1) email, (2) Usenet and news group posting, (3) bulletin board system (BBS) posting, (4) mailing lists posting, (5) postings to Internet Service Providers (such as America Online and Microsoft Network), (6) interactive chat communications (IRC), (7) recordings of communications via Internet telephone and Internet video conferencing, (8) web page contents, (9) computer graphics, (10) sound, (11) video; and, of course, (12) photographs.
Timothy B. McCormack, attorney at law, writes: Reverse engineering can be accomplished in at least two ways.(60) First, one may reverse engineer a program through the program’s design documentation. For example, one may independently develop a competing program by having one team produce design documentation of desired inputs and outputs after lawfully analyzing the program from which the competing program is to be developed. Another team then writes codes for the competing program based on the created design documentation.