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Mass Law Blog

Intellectual property and business litigation, Massachusetts and nationally
Written by humans

Lee Gesmer’s Mass Law Blog began in 2005, and contains almost 600 posts. The site initially focused on Massachusetts law, but today it follows business and intellectual property law nation-wide. The site is hosted by Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm represents startup and established companies in the areas of litigation, transactions (including financings, mergers and acquisitions), IP rights, taxation, employment law, standards consortia, business counseling and open source development projects and foundations. You can find a summary of the firm’s services here. To learn how Gesmer Updegrove can help you, contact: Lee Gesmer

Taylor’s Version and the Two Copyrights

Taylor’s Version and the Two Copyrights

A couple of people have asked me about the legal story behind Taylor Swift's re-recording of her earlier albums.  Great question. In fact, she has re-recorded three of them.  This unusual story is a perfect “music copyright” teaching moment. Why The Re-Recordings? The background is a bit convoluted, but it arises out of an ugly split between Swift and her first recording company, Big Machine Records. Following the split Swift began releasing her re-recorded songs, Fearless (Taylor’s Version)...

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Artificial Intelligence May Result In Human Extinction, But In the Meantime There’s a Lot of Lawyering To Be Done

Artificial Intelligence May Result In Human Extinction, But In the Meantime There’s a Lot of Lawyering To Be Done

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.   Arthur C. Clarke Do you recall when Netscape Navigator was released in December 1994? I suspect not. You may not have been born or you might have been too young to take notice. This software marked the public’s first widespread introduction to a user-friendly web browser, and it was a big deal at the time. I remember buying a copy on disk from Egghead Software in Boston and trying (with limited success) to access the World...

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The Impact of SAS Institute, Inc. v. World Programming Ltd. on Non-Literal Software Copyright Infringement

The Impact of SAS Institute, Inc. v. World Programming Ltd. on Non-Literal Software Copyright Infringement

Software copyright is an important area of copyright law. However, it has proven devilishly difficult for the courts to apply. As the Second Circuit observed 30 years ago, trying to apply copyright law to software is often an “attempt to fit the proverbial square peg in a round hole.” Judges know this - I'll never forget the time that Massachusetts Federal District Court Judge Rya Zobel, during an initial case conference in a copyright case, looked me in the eye and said, "we aren't going to...

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Generative AI Images Struggle for Copyright Protection

Generative AI Images Struggle for Copyright Protection

There are a number of computer programs and websites that will allow you to create an image using artificial intelligence. One of them is Midjourney. You can see some of the Midjourney AI-generated art here.  Kris Kashtanova used Midjourney’s generative AI tool to create a comic book titled Zarya of the Dawn. She submitted the work to the Copyright Office, seeking registration, and the Office issued the registration in September 2022. However according to the Copyright Office Ms. Kashtanova...

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This site is hosted by Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a technology law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. You can find a summary of our services here. To learn how GU can help you, contact:
Lee Gesmer