September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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February 15, 2018

For nearly a week, millions of people around the world have been tuning into the Winter Olympics broadcasting from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Like seemingly every edition of the games, figure skating has been one of the most watched events as stars like Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu take to the ice with incredible grace and skill. With everyone’s eyes on the athletes, though, your ears may have missed something new about the music that soundtracks these routines. For the first Continue reading

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February 8, 2018

Earlier this week we looked at how audiences responded both positively and negatively to this year’s lineup of Super Bowl ads. While a number of funny spots seemed to go over well with the public, a Dodge Ram ad prominently featuring a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decidedly did not. After the commercial aired, thousands took to social media to condemn the company for stealing the words of such an admired humanitarian. Of course, these critics soon Continue reading

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August 15, 2017

crocsWhether you love them or hate them, the foam clogs made by the Colorado-based Crocs are certainly distinctive. They can’t be called “unique,” however, at least according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A recent ruling from the government agency rejected the patent that Crocs has held on its signature shoes since 2006. Apparently another party had registered a similar design a year before, thus invalidating the original trademark.  

The Patent Office’s decision may finally bring an end Continue reading

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July 20, 2017

rego-korosiAs sales from CDs and digital downloads continue to decline, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have become vital to the $7.7 billion music industry. Still, there’s one major streaming service that both executives and musicians alike have long despised. While it’s mostly known for video, YouTube accounts for 25 percent of all music streamed across the globe. This makes it by far the most popular streaming site among fans, a fact that industry insiders find increasingly troubling.

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June 13, 2017

slgckgc-kitkatKitKats first landed in U.K. candy stores in 1935 and the four-fingered bars quickly became a hit. By the 1970s the crunchy chocolate candy had grown from a popular British treat into a worldwide hit. Nestle purchased KitKat in 1988 and solidified the candy bar’s position as a global brand. KitKat has changed little over the course of this long history, retaining its signature four-fingers of chocolate that “break off” with a satisfying snap.

But according to a recent ruling Continue reading

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December 29, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, many people across the country have likely spent the last few weeks immersed in Christmas music and movies. This brief video takes a look at how much money some of these old entertainment properties earn during the festive season, from Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life to Mariah Carey’s perennial hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Questions:

  1. How did the public domain copyright of It’s a Wonderful Life transform the film Continue reading
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August 5, 2016

In today’s digital world it can be difficult for photographers and trademark holders to control the use of their pictures. To combat copyright infringement, licensing companies like Getty Images keep a close eye on where their photos are posted. For instance, using a Getty-owned image on your blog without permission will likely result in a cease-and-desist letter from company representatives. That’s what happened to photographer Carol M. Highsmith when she received an email informing her that an image on her Continue reading

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July 12, 2016

One of the first phrases children are taught to say is “thank you.” This simple expression of gratitude then sticks with us throughout life, acting as the appropriate response to a range of situations both simple and serious. In the eyes of Citigroup, however, “thank you” is more than just a common reply. Since 2004 the banking giant has operated a rewards program called “ThankYou” that allows customers to earn points from their purchases. As a result, the company trademarked Continue reading

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