Copyright Law Deskbook, Second Edition, With 2018 Cumulative Supplement

This handbook covers the most timely and significant aspects of copyright law in a concise, convenient format. Every chapter contains excerpts from the Copyright Act, explanations of the text, and analyses of seminal decisions, addressing fair use, work for hire, copyrightability, digital rights and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, international considerations, damages, formalities, preemption, and litigation issues.

Meet The Author


The Copyright Law Deskbook, Second Edition addresses the law and practice of copyright, with an emphasis on case law developments. It explores decisions in which existing copyright content is being aggregated, adapted, and distributed in ways unforeseen by Congress when it passed the Copyright Act in 1976. The book covers significant aspects of the law, including fair use, work for hire, copyrightability, digital rights and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, international considerations, damages, formalities, preemption, and litigation issues. Copyright Law Deskbook comes with an online Annotated Case Digest that covers every significant copyright law decision from 1993 to February 22, 2016.

Highlights covered in the Second Edition include jurisdiction and procedure: U.S. jurisdiction over acts of foreign infringement; personal jurisdiction based on a defendant’s internet activities; copyrightability: new decisions on the copyrightability of derivative works, real estate information, financial data, lighting fixtures, toys, the Visual Artists Rights Act, and cars as copyrightable “characters” in movies; and fair use: newest arguments in transformative technological use, both successful and not, including the digitization of library books; music file-sharing, and online “space shifting” of music files; fair use and Harry Potter reference books; and more.  

Supplement Information

The 2018 Cumulative Supplement adds the following new material:

  • The Federal Circuit in Oracle Am. Inc. v. Google LLC overturned a jury’s verdict that Google's use of Oracle’s Java software was a fair use as a matter of law, concluding that it was not transformative, and remanded for a trial on damages 

  • The Second Circuit held in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. that TVEyes’ aggregation and re-distribution of Fox's copyrighted audiovisual content in a searchable database, although transformative, deprived Fox of revenue that properly belongs to the copyright holder, and was not fair use
  • In Johnson v. Storix, the Ninth Circuit ruled that an annual report qualified as a “note or memorandum” that was signed and properly memorialized a transfer of assets even if the signature wasn’t in the transferor’s personal capacity
  • The Tenth Circuit held in SCO Group, Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp. that because misappropriation under New York law is an independent claim with a separate element of bad faith business dealings, SCO's claim is not “equivalent” to a federal copyright infringement claim, and was not preempted by Section 301 of the Copyright Act
  • The Eleventh Circuit affirmed on remand in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. the district court’s decision concluding that there is no right under Florida common law to copyright in pre-1972 sound recordings nor an exclusive right of public performance
  • The Ninth Circuit affirmed in Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc. that that the company violated Oracle's copyrights by copying, under the license of one customer, work performed for other customers, or for unknown or future customers; the appeals court concluded that it would not be copyright misuse to forbid Rimini from creating development environments for licensees before they have become customers
  • In Williams v. Gaye, the Ninth Circuit rejected the argument that the copyright at issue enjoyed only thin protection, stating that musical compositions are not confined to a narrow range of expression
  • In Sophia & Chloe, Inc. v. Brighton Collectibles, LLC, the Ninth Circuit ruled that it was error to instruct the jury to apply the “substantially similar” standard instead of the more exacting “virtually identical” standard” in evaluating earrings that incorporate the same three elements
  • The Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded the district court’s invalidation of copyright registrations in Roberts v. Gordy, holding that the lower court erred in not applying scienter standards for fraud on the copyright office



Bloomberg BNA authors and editors are practicing professionals with insider perspectives and real-life experience. Learn more about this book’s authors and editors.
Robert W. Clarida is a partner at Reitler, Kailas & Rosenblatt, LLC in New York, N.Y., and a noted author and speaker on copyright. He is a past trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.


View full tables of contents and read the book’s preface or introduction.