Larry Zerner’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jul 8th, 2020 @ 10:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    The Plaintiffs also seem to have forgotten that four of the stories (The ones published in 1923 in 1924) have also fallen into the public domain. So, there are only six stories that are still protected by copyright, not 10

  • Feb 20th, 2020 @ 10:14am

    The Plaintiff copied the Unicorn from someone else

    Not only do the two paintings not look substantially similar, but you missed the update, where Cartoonbrew discovered that the Plaintiff's unicorn was directly copied from another artist (Sharlene Lindskog-Osorio). Also, photos from Plaintiff's Instagram show that she wasn't even the person who painted the unicorn on her van. This case, whether filed against or by Disney, is going nowhere.

  • Sep 12th, 2017 @ 10:52am

    (untitled comment)

    I would agree to vacating the district court decision if the Court then appoint's me as Naruto's "Next" Next Friend so I can sue PETA and Irell & Manella for malpractice and filing bullshit legal claims on a monkey's behalf.
  • Aug 4th, 2016 @ 5:20pm

    Zuma Press

    Shorter Version:
    Zuma: "We own 20 million photographs."
    Getty: Which ones did we infringe?"
    Zuma: You Tweeted!"
  • May 11th, 2016 @ 10:45am

    Spoilers don't hurt

    The crazy thing is the idea that spoilers will hurt viewership. Three of the biggest movie series of all time are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games. All of these movies were "spoiled" in that most people knew everything that was going to happen because they already read the books. Yet it was because of that, that the movies were so successful. GOT became the most successful show of all time even though until now, a large chunk of viewers knew everything that was going to happen. Even now, people can see that the R+L=J is true. Does that mean that we won't watch the show. Of course not. HBO's actions, on top of being wrong in a legal sense, are pointless because they have no effect on the viewership of GOT. If people want to know spoilers, they will seek them out. If they don't, they won't. But, in either case, they will keep watching.
  • Sep 24th, 2015 @ 10:42am

    Background on Batmobile

    As the (losing) attorney on this case, I just wanted to add a bit of background and give my 2 cents. I'm a big fan of Techdirt and the Techdirt community and appreciate that they understand that not everything is automatically protected by copyright.

    First, with regard to the question as to whether DC does license an official Batmobile car, they do. My client began selling replica Batmobiles in 2001. Ten years later, in 2011, DC entered into a deal with another replicator, Mark Racop (, and gave him a contract to sell officially licensed Batmobiles. Racop then told DC to sue Towle.

    Second, and what most people seem to forget, is that the copyright act specifically states that there is no copyright protection for the design of automobiles because they are "useful articles." In fact, if you go to the Copyright Office website you will find a page that states this:
    "Copyright in a work that portrays a useful article extends only to the artistic expression of the author of the pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. It does not extend to the design of the article that is portrayed. For example, a drawing or photograph of an automobile or a dress design may be copyrighted, but that does not give the artist or photographer the exclusive right to make automobiles or dresses of the same design."

    So the Copyright Office has made it clear that drawing a car does not give you the exclusive right to the design of those cars.

    Third, even if the Batmobile were to qualify as a character, the copyright should only extend to the qualities of the character that are not part of the car's design. This decision absolutely says that Ian Fleming's estate now owns the copyright to the Aston Martin, Disney owns the copyright to the Volkswagen (because of Herbie the Love Bug), and Universal owns the copyright to the Pontiac Trans-Am that played KITT. I believe many of you can see that this makes no sense. These characters exist in movies and TV shows. They don't exist in the real world. If someone sells a Trans-Am and calls it KITT, that may be a trademark issue, but in no way should it violate a copyright.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me rant for a bit and get that off of my chest.
  • Sep 22nd, 2015 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Monkey and Copyright

    I'm fine with this as long as you can pay the license fee in bananas.
  • Mar 10th, 2015 @ 4:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    While it would be nice to see what happens on an appeal, it probably won't happen. The Gaye family is now entitled to an injunction against further distribution of the song. Unless the court stays the injunction pending appeal (which it probably won't because it will effect the damages), Pharrell and Thick will have to come to a deal with the Gaye family to allow further distribution. Otherwise, no money will be received from the song until the appeal is concluded (a minimum of 2 years).
  • Jan 21st, 2015 @ 1:47pm

    James Bond

    My understanding is that the James Bond copyrights will last until 95 years after publication, not 70 years after Fleming's death.

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