Guidelines dell’US Copyright Office sulle creazioni tramite intelligenza artificiale

Anna Maria Stein su IPKat ci informa che l’Ufficio USA ha emesso guidelines sull’oggetto: Copyright Registration Guidance: Works Containing Material Generated by Artificial Intelligence.

Si legge  nelle stesse:

<<As the agency overseeing the copyright registration system, the Office has extensive
experience in evaluating works submitted for registration that contain human
authorship combined with uncopyrightable material, including material generated by
or with the assistance of technology. It begins by asking “whether the ‘work’ is basically
one of human authorship, with the computer [or other device] merely being an assisting
instrument, or whether the traditional elements of authorship in the work (literary,
artistic, or musical expression or elements of selection, arrangement, etc.) were actually
conceived and executed not by man but by a machine.” 23 In the case of works containing
AI-generated material, the Office will consider whether the AI contributions are the result of “mechanical reproduction” or instead of an author’s “own original mental conception,
to which [the author] gave visible form.” 24 The answer will depend on the circumstances,
particularly how the AI tool operates and how it was used to create the final work.   This is necessarily a case-by-case inquiry.

If a work’s traditional elements of authorship were produced by a machine, the work lacks
human authorship and the Office will not register it .  For example, when an AI technology
receives solely a prompt from a human and produces complex written, visual, or musical
works in response, the “traditional elements of authorship” are determined and executed
by the technology—not the human user. Based on the Office’s understanding of the
generative AI technologies currently available, users do not exercise ultimate creative
control over how such systems interpret prompts and generate material. Instead, these
prompts function more like instructions to a commissioned artist—they identify what the
prompter wishes to have depicted, but the machine determines how those instructions are
implemented in its output. For example, if a user instructs a text-generating technology
to “write a poem about copyright law in the style of William Shakespeare,” she can expect
the system to generate text that is recognizable as a poem, mentions copyright, and
resembles Shakespeare’s style. 29 But the technology will decide the rhyming pattern, the
words in each line, and the structure of the text. 30 When an AI technology determines
the expressive elements of its output, the generated material is not the product of
human authorship.31 As a result, that material is not protected by copyright and must be
disclaimed in a registration application.

In other cases, however, a work containing AI-generated material will also contain
sufficient human authorship to support a copyright claim. For example, a human may
select or arrange AI-generated material in a sufficiently creative way that “the resulting
work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.” 33 Or an artist may modify
material originally generated by AI technology to such a degree that the modifications
meet the standard for copyright protection. 34 In these cases, copyright will only protect
the human-authored aspects of the work, which are “independent of ” and do “not affect”
the copyright status of the AI-generated material itself>>.

Contraffazione musicale (negata) dal distretto sud di New York

Mark Jaffe dà notizia di South. Distr. of New York 24 marzo 2023, Case 1:21-cv-04047-VM, EMELIKE NWOSUOCHA c. DONALD MCKINLEY GLOVER II,

Interessante esame delle questioni proprie delle liti su copyright musicale nella sentenza in esame: questioni sempre ostiche per chi non conosce teoria o almeno tecnica musicale.

Il problema di solito -e pure qui- è quello di individuare le parti non originali di una composizione, le quali non sono proteggibili.

In generale:

<<Thus, “copyright protects only that which is original,” and “does not protect ideas, only their expression.” McDonald, 138 F. Supp. 3d at 455. “This principle excludes from copyright the raw materials of art, like colors, letters, descriptive facts, and standard geometric forms, as well as previous creative works that have fallen into the public domain,” and “[i]t likewise excludes the basic building blocks of music, including tempo and individual notes.” Id. at 454 (collecting cases). Further, “words and short phrases, including titles and slogans, rarely if ever exhibit sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection,” and “[l]onger phrases are also not protectable if they are common or cliché.” Id. Similarly, “common rhythms, song structures, and harmonic progressions are not protected” and “[t]hemes fall into the category of uncopyrightable ideas.” Id. at 454-55. Still, “a work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectible elements,” because “the original way in which the author has selected, coordinated, and arranged the elements of his or her work” is protectible. Knitwaves, Inc. v. Lollytogs Ltd. (Inc.), 71 F.3d 996, 1003-04 (2d Cir. 1995) (internal quotation marks omitted)>>

In aprticolare nel caso sub iudice:

<<Additionally, the parties agree, and the Court concurs, that the Complaint does not allege infringement of the “overall structure of the songs, order, and number of verse and chorus sections,” or the “instrumentation,” “musical notes,” or “musical production.”5 (See Opposition at 2-6; Memorandum at 4-6; Complaint ¶¶ 39-40.)
The Court finds that the “distinct and unique vocal cadence, delivery, rhythm, timing, phrasing, meter and/or pattern” or “flow” as well as the “lyrical theme” and “structure” of the chorus in Plaintiff’s Composition lack sufficient originality alone, or as combined, to merit compositional copyright protection or are categorically ineligible for copyright protection. (Complaint ¶ 39.) For instance, Nwosuocha asserts copyright over the “lyrical theme” of Plaintiff’s Composition, but a lyrical theme is simply an idea, and ideas are not protectable. Moreover, the idea of a boastful rapper is certainly not original to Nwosuocha.
The Court further finds that although the “content” of the chorus of Plaintiff’s Composition, which the Court understands to mean the lyrics, bears sufficient originality to merit compositional protection, a cursory comparison with the Challenged Composition reveals that the content of the choruses is entirely different and not substantially similar.6 As noted previously, the “question of substantial similarity is by no means exclusively reserved for resolution by a jury” and the Second Circuit has “repeatedly recognized that, in certain circumstances, it is entirely appropriate for a district court to resolve that question as a matter of law, either because the similarity between two works concerns only non-copyrightable elements of the plaintiff’s work, or because no reasonable jury, properly instructed, could find that the two works are substantially similar.” Peter F. Gaito, 602 F.3d at 63. Here, no reasonable jury, properly instructed, could find that the lyrics of the chorus of Plaintiff’s Composition and the chorus of the Challenged Composition are substantially similar>>.

Si tratta però di esame ultroneo , condotto dalal corte senza necessità, dato che l’opera nmon era stata retgistrata come richeide il diritto usa per aver tutela in corte. O meglio -particolare assi imporante- l’attore aveva registrato solo il fonogramma (sound recording) e  non l’opera muscia /musical registration): inadempimeot palese del suo consulente IP .

L’immagine fumettistica creata tramite intelligenza artificiale non è protetta come opera dell’ingegno : decisione interessante dello US Copyright Office

dal sito si apprende della decisione February 21, 2023 dello US Copiright Office (poi: c.o.)  nel caso  <Zarya of the Dawn (Registration # VAu001480196)> .

Viene ivi offerto anche il link diretto al testo di quest’ultima.

In breve il c.o. nega la registrazione (là necessaria a quasi ogni fine) perchè il fumetto (o meglio: le immagini) sono state geenrate da intelligenza ariticiale (Midjourney: generatore di immagini) anche se su input (prompts) della artista (Kristina Kashtanova, poi: KK).

Noin può infatti ravvisarsi “work of authorship”.

Mon è servita l’allegazione per cui KK avesse provato moltssimi prompts per generare l’immagimne migliore, poi scelta per il fumetto

Il c.o. invece ammette il copyright sui testi e sull’arrangement di immagini+testo.

Nella decisione è desritto bene il funzionament di Midjourney (lato utente : non ovviamnte la logica algoritmica alla base)

<< Based on the record before it, the Office concludes that the images generated by
Midjourney contained within the Work are not original works of authorship protected by
See COMPENDIUM (THIRD) § 313.2 (explaining that “the Office will not register works
produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically
without any creative input or intervention from a human author”). Though she claims to have
“guided” the structure and content of each image, the process described in the Kashtanova Letter
makes clear that it was Midjourney—not Kashtanova—that originated the “traditional elements
of authorship” in the images.
Ms. Kashtanova claims that each image was created using “a similar creative process.”
Kashtanova Letter at 5. Summarized here, this process consisted of a series of steps employing
Midjourney. First, she entered a text prompt to Midjourney, which she describes as “the core
creative input” for the image.
Id. at 7–8 (providing example of first generated image in response
to prompt “dark skin hands holding an old photograph –ar 16:9”).
14 Next, “Kashtanova then
picked one or more of these output images to further develop.”
Id. at 8. She then “tweaked or
changed the prompt as well as the other inputs provided to Midjourney” to generate new
intermediate images, and ultimately the final image.
Id. Ms. Kashtanova does not claim she
created any visual material herself—she uses passive voice in describing the final image as
“created, developed, refined, and relocated” and as containing elements from intermediate
images “brought together into a cohesive whole.”
Id. at 7. To obtain the final image, she
describes a process of trial-and-error, in which she provided “hundreds or thousands of
descriptive prompts” to Midjourney until the “hundreds of iterations [created] as perfect a
rendition of her vision as possible.”
Id. at 9–10.
Rather than a tool that Ms. Kashtanova controlled and guided to reach her desired image,
Midjourney generates images in an unpredictable way. Accordingly, Midjourney users are not
the “authors” for copyright purposes of the images the technology generates. As the Supreme
Court has explained, the “author” of a copyrighted work is the one “who has actually formed the
picture,” the one who acts as “the inventive or master mind.”
Burrow-Giles, 111 U.S. at 61. A
person who provides text prompts to Midjourney does not “actually form” the generated images
and is not the “master mind” behind them. Instead, as explained above, Midjourney begins the
image generation process with a field of visual “noise,” which is refined based on tokens created
from user prompts that relate to Midjourney’s training database. The information in the prompt
may “influence” generated image, but prompt text does not dictate a specific result.
, MIDJOURNEY, (explaining that short text
prompts cause “each word [to have] a more powerful influence” and that images including in a
prompt may “influence the style and content of the finished result”). Because of the significant
distance between what a user may direct Midjourney to create and the visual material
Midjourney actually produces, Midjourney users lack sufficient control over generated images to
be treated as the “master mind” behind them.

Pertanto secondo il c.o.:

<<The fact that Midjourney’s specific output cannot be predicted by users makes
Midjourney different for copyright purposes than other tools used by artists. See Kashtanova
Letter at 11 (arguing that the process of using Midjourney is similar to using other “computerbased tools” such as Adobe Photoshop). Like the photographer in Burrow-Giles, when artists
use editing or other assistive tools, they select what visual material to modify, choose which
tools to use and what changes to make, and take specific steps to control the final image such
that it amounts to the artist’s “own original mental conception, to which [they] gave visible
form.”15 Burrow-Giles, 111 U.S. at 60 (explaining that the photographer’s creative choices made
the photograph “the product of [his] intellectual invention”). Users of Midjourney do not have
comparable control over the initial image generated, or any final image. It is therefore
understandable that users like Ms. Kashtanova may take “over a year from conception to
creation” of images matching what the user had in mind because they may need to generate
“hundreds of intermediate images.” Kashtanova Letter at 3, 9>>.


Creatività di opera digitale

Cass. 16.01.2023 n° 1.107, sez. 1, rel. Scotti,. sull’argomento.

Poche le consiedraizoni realmente interessanti, ripetendosi tralatici giudizi sulla creatività:

<<4.3. Nel caso di specie la Corte di appello è partita dall’esatta premessa, conforme alla giurisprudenza di questa Corte, secondo il quale in tema di diritto d’autore il concetto giuridico di creatività, cui fa riferimento la L. n. 633 del 1941, art. 1 non coincide con quello di creazione, originalità e novità assoluta, ma si riferisce, per converso, alla personale e individuale espressione di un’oggettività appartenente alle categorie elencate, in via esemplificativa, nell’art. 1 della legge citata, di modo che un’opera dell’ingegno riceva protezione a condizione che sia riscontrabile in essa un atto creativo, seppur minimo, suscettibile di manifestazione nel mondo esteriore.

Di conseguenza la creatività non può essere esclusa soltanto perché l’opera consiste in idee e nozioni semplici, ricomprese nel patrimonio intellettuale di persone aventi esperienza nella materia; inoltre, la creatività non è costituita dall’idea in sé, ma dalla forma della sua espressione, ovvero dalla sua soggettività, di modo che la stessa idea può essere alla base di diverse opere, che sono o possono essere diverse per la creatività soggettiva che ciascuno degli autori spende e che, in quanto tale, rileva ai fini della protezione (Sez. 1, n. 25173 del 28.11.2011; Sez. 1, n. 21172 del 13.10.2011; Sez. 1, n. 20925 del 27.10.2005)>>.

Interessante è semmai il giudizio sul perchè la sentenza non sia apparente/carente , ma sufficientemente motivata: compito difficile su un concetto vago come quello di creativirtà. Ecco :

<<4.4. Nella fattispecie, la Corte di appello ha osservato che l’opera è creativa allorché esprime una idea originale, proveniente solo dall’ispirazione del suo autore e ha confermato la valutazione espressa dal giudice di primo grado, sostenendo che l’immagine non era una semplice riproduzione di un fiore, ma ne comportava una vera e propria rielaborazione, perciò meritevole di tutela autorale per il suo carattere creativo (pag.11, primo periodo).

La Corte di appello, poi, ha rafforzato tale valutazione, dando conto dell’ampia valorizzazione impressa all’opera da parte della stessa RAI in occasione della presentazione della manifestazione alla stampa periodica, volta a porre in risalto il fiore e la sua valenza simbolica facendolo campeggiare sul palco spoglio, invece tradizionalmente addobbato con vere decorazioni floreali. Ha infine considerato quale ulteriore indizio confirmativo il grado di notorietà raggiunto dall’opera sul web, dando conto di visualizzazioni, preferenze e commenti.

4.5. La motivazione è pertanto esistente e non meramente apparente e rende ragione del percorso seguito dai giudici genovesi: l’opera non è una semplice riproduzione di un fiore ma una sua rielaborazione; la stessa RAI l’ha implicitamente riconosciuto, valorizzandola in modo accentuato come simbolo della manifestazione; gli utenti hanno reagito positivamente con acquisizione di un buon grado di notorietà.>>

Inrterssante, infine, è l’apertura verso la creatività di opera frutto di software (intellegenza artificiale?):

<<5.1. La RAI si duole del fatto che la Corte di appello abbia erroneamente qualificato come opera dell’ingegno una immagine generata da un software e non attribuibile a una idea creativa della sua supposta autrice.

La ricorrente sostiene che l’opera dell’arch. B. è una immagine digitale, a soggetto floreale, a figura c.d. “frattale”, ossia caratterizzata da autosimilarità, ovvero da ripetizione delle sue forme su scale di grandezza diverse ed è stata elaborata da un software, che ne ha elaborato forma, colori e dettagli tramite algoritmi matematici; la pretesa autrice avrebbe solamente scelto un algoritmo da applicare e approvato a posteriori il risultato generato dal computer.

(…) 5.3. La questione è nuova perché non risulta trattata nella sentenza impugnata e la stessa ricorrente non indica quando e come l’avrebbe sottoposta al giudice di primo grado e a quello di appello.

Non è certamente sufficiente a tal fine l’ammissione della controparte di aver utilizzato un software per generare l’immagine, circostanza questa che, come ammette la stessa ricorrente, è pur sempre compatibile con l’elaborazione di un’opera dell’ingegno con un tasso di creatività che andrebbe solo scrutinato con maggior rigore (cfr ricorso, pag.17), se, com’e’ avvenuto nel caso concreto, la RAI non ha chiesto ai giudici di merito il rigetto della domanda per quella ragione.

E infatti si sarebbe reso necessario un accertamento di fatto per verificare se e in qual misura l’utilizzo dello strumento avesse assorbito l’elaborazione creativa dell’artista che se ne era avvalsa.>>

La Sc ribadisce cjhe il giuidizi odi creatività è di fatti e no di diriutto, , § 4.6. Il che però non è esatto.

Incontri fortuiti in diritto di autore?

La dist. court of Minnesota affronta un caso di  -in sostanza-  incontri c.d fortuiti (sent,. 28.09.2022. Civil No. 20-2152 (DWF/DTS) , Cooley c. Target)

Da noi non è chiaro se debbano entrambi aver tutela oppure se solo il primo (ad essere creato o pubblicato?).

La creazione del ragazzo è stata ripresa a suo dire dal colosso TARget con i suo capi di abbigliamento. Questi risponde che l’aveva autonomamente creata in precedenza,

Secondo il diritto usa l’attore deve dare o prova diretta del copiaggio o indiretta tramite il famso <<access>> all’opera + la somiglianza.

L’access a sua volta lo si prova o con la prova della possibilità di aver visto il lavoro o con quella che esso era <widely disseminated to the public>.

Qui solo segnalo che il passaggio per cui la presenza in rete sui social no costituisce <widely dissemination to the public>, come vorrebbe invece la difesa del ragazzo:

<< Cooley argues that because a Target employee found N.O.C. through social media
in 2018, “[t]here is no question that N.O.C.’s online presence was sufficient and
widespread enough to provide Target a reasonable opportunity to access [the Copyrighted
Works].” (Doc. No. 363 at 42.) This argument fails for several reasons. First, the Target
employee who found N.O.C. in 2018 found him through a separate Instagram account—
Krink. (Rashid Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. 5 at 14:14-18.) The Copyrighted Works were not
published on Krink’s Instagram account. Second, there is no evidence that the Target
employee that found N.O.C. worked with or had any interaction with Davis or Delta
Galil. Finally, and most importantly, the video was posted in May 2018,
after the alleged
infringement. To survive summary judgment, Cooley must put forth evidence that Davis
had a reasonable possibility of viewing each Copyrighted Work
before the alleged

(notizia e link al testo dal blog del prof. Eric Goldman)

L’autore di opera dell’ingegno non può essere l’intelligenza artificiale (novità amministrative dagli USA)

Si consolida l’orientamento che nega legittimazione alla privativa in capo all’algoritmo di Intelligenza Artiiciale, copyright o brevetto ivnentivo che sia..

Ora si pronuncia in tale sneo pure il  reclamo del US copyright office 14.02.2022, relativo alla composizione grafica “A Recent Entrance to Paradise”.

Si tratta sempre di uno dei tentativi dell’indomito dr. Stephen Thaler.

<<For this reason, the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices — the practice manual for the Office — has long mandated human authorship for registration. After enactment of the 1976 Copyright Act, the second edition of the Compendium was updated to reflect the Office’s understanding that human authorship is required by the law. See U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE, COMPENDIUM OF U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE PRACTICES § 202.02(b) (2d ed. 1984) (“COMPENDIUM (SECOND)”) (“The term ‘authorship’ implies that, for a work to be copyrightable,
it must owe its origin to a human being. Materials produced solely by nature, by plants, or by animals are not copyrightable.”), available at The current Compendium retains this requirement and articulates its application in multiple circumstances where non-human expression raises unique challenges.
See COMPENDIUM (THIRD) §§ 709.1 (automated computer translations); 803.6(B) (derivative sound recordings made by purely mechanical processes); 805.4(C) & 806.4(C) (human performance required for choreography and pantomimes); 808.8(E) (human selection of color in colorized motion pictures); 906.8 (machine produced expression in visual arts works, such as linoleum flooring); 909.3(B) (x-rays and other medical imaging); 1006.1(A) (hypertext markup language if created by a human being “rather than a website design program”). Although no
Compendium section explicitly addresses artificial intelligence, the Board concludes that Office policy and practice makes human authorship a prerequisite for copyright protection.
The Office’s position is supported by a recent report from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) addressing intellectual property issues raised by AI. USPTO sought public comment on whether “a work produced by an AI algorithm or process, without the involvement of a natural person . . . qualif[ies] as a work of authorship” under the Copyright Act. U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, PUBLIC VIEWS ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY at 19 (2020), available at In its summary of responses,
USPTO noted that “the vast majority of commenters acknowledged that existing law does not permit a non-human to be an author [and] this should remain the law.” Id. at 20–21.

The Board agrees.>>.

E’ rigdettato anche la domanda bdsata sul work made for hire (creazione da parte del dipendente), non essendoci chiaramente alcun rapporto di lavoro tra la macchina e Thaler.

C’è già molta letteratura sul punto.

Per altri cenni v. mio post 01.12.2018 .

Tutela degli emoji come opera dell’ingegno o almeno come marchio di forma?

Tutele negate dalla corte del nord della california 16.02.2022, Case No. 21-cv-06948-VC, Cub Club Investment c. Apple.

Il creatore di emoji <racially diverse> cita Apple che li aveva copiati, anche se con alcune differenze.

<<The copyrighted works are expressions of Cub Club’s idea of racially diverse emoji. Each of the emoji described in the complaint are variations on this theme, depicting body parts in certain positions (thumbs up; thumbs down; a fist; etc.) in varying skin tones. There aren’t many ways that someone could implement this idea. After all, there are only so many ways to draw a thumbs up. And the range of colors that could be chosen is similarly narrow—only realistic skin colors (hues of brown, black, and beige, rather than purple or blue) fall within the scope of the idea. Cub Club’s emoji are therefore “entitled to only thin copyright protection against virtually identical copying.” Mattel, 616 F.3d at 915>>.

Quelli di A. sono assai simili ma non identici: <<As alleged in the complaint, Apple’s emoji are not “virtually identical” to Cub Club’s. Compared side by side, there are numerous differences. Whereas Cub Club’s emoji are filled in with a gradient, the coloring of Apple’s emoji are more consistent. The shape of Apple’s thumbs-up emoji is cartoonish and bubbled, while Cub Club’s is somewhat flatter. Many of Cub Club’s emoji have shadows; Apple’s do not. Even the colors used are distinct—although both Cub Club and Apple have chosen a variety of
skin tones ranging from dark to light, the specific colors vary. These differences are sufficient to take Apple’s emoji outside the realm of Cub Club’s protected expression>.

confronto tra il primo gruppo di emoji

Anche la tutela da trade dress (marchio di forma, o disegno, suppergiù) è negata  e per ragioni simili, ovviamente: <<Cub Club’s allegations that the asserted trade dress goes beyond these functional elements to the “look and feel” of the product
is not enough to save its claim. “As a matter of law, a product’s ‘overall appearance’ is functional, and thus unprotectable, where the product is ‘nothing other than the assemblage of functional parts.’ ” Blumenthal Distributing, Inc., 963 F.3d at 866 (quoting Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. v. Cooper Industries, Inc., 199 F.3d 1009, 1013 (9th Cir. 1999)). In the absence of allegations identifying non-functional elements of Cub Club’s product, such a conclusory statement is not sufficient to plausibly allege that the asserted trade dress is non-functional>>

(notizia e link alla sentenza dal blog de lprof. Eric Goldman)

Tutela delle ricette culinarie tramite diritto di autore? Pare difficile …

Un tribunale newyorkese decide sulla copiatura di ricette da cucina (vegana) sotto vari profili , tra qui quello -unico qui richiamato- del copyright (è il count 14 della domanda introduttiva, p. 17-18)

Si tratta di United States District Court, S.D. New York, Coscarelli v. Esquared Hosp., Decided Nov 24, 2021, n° 18-CV-5943 (JMF) (letta in

<<Applying the fact/expression dichotomy to recipes, courts have held that “the lists of required ingredients and the directions for combining them to achieve the final products” are not eligible for copyright protection, although original elementsreflecting the author’s creative expression – such as“musings about the spiritual nature of cooking, ”“reminiscences [the author] associate[s] with thewafting odors of certain dishes in various stages ofpreparation, ” and “suggestions for presentation,advice on wines to go with the meal, or hints onplace settings and appropriate music” – may be protectible . Publ’ns Int’l, Ltd. v. Meredith Corp.,88 F.3d 473, 480-81 (7th Cir. 1996); accordLambing v. Godiva Chocolatier, 142 F.3d 434 (6thCir. 1998); see also 37 C.F.R. § 202.1(a)(providing that the “mere listing of ingredients orcontents” 33 is “not subject to copyright”); seealso LaPine, 2009 WL 2902584, at *7 (noting that“individual recipes do not necessarily qualify forcopyright protection” (citing Publ’ns. Int’l, 88 F.3dat 481)), af ‘d, 375 Fed.Appx. 81 (2d Cir. 2010)(summary order).

Il che condanna la domanda attorea;: <That is because the elements that Defendants allegedly copied from Coscarelli’s cookbooks are primarily lists of ingredients and directions for combining them. For example, Plaintiffs allege thatDefendants copied, nearly verbatim, the ingredients and steps in the recipe for peanut butter dog treats that Coscarelli published in her Chloe’s Kitchen cookbook. But – critically – theymake no argument that the commentary (stating,“Now, something for our furry friends! There’s a whole lot of tail-waggin’ and lip-smackin’ whenmy pups smell these all-natural treats baking.These also make great gifts: Wrap these treats and,when you tie them off, attach a dog-bone cookiecutter and a copy of this recipe”) was copied. FAC¶¶ 192(e), 192(f). Whereas the latter may be entitled to copyright protection, the former plainly is not. 

Plaintiffs seek to distinguish Coscarelli’s “exciting, unique – and above all – original” recipes from the cases cited above, arguing that her recipes “bear no resemblance” to the “simple – and unoriginal -recipes not protected by copyright.” Pls.’ MSJMem. & Opp’n 28.

But the Supreme Court has held that “[n]o matter how much originalauthorship the work displays, the facts and ideas itexposes are free for the taking. The very samefacts and ideas may be divorced from the contextimposed by the author, and restated or reshuffledby second comers, even if the author was the firstto discover the facts or to propose the ideas.”Feist, 499 U.S. at 349 (cleaned up). It is the“selection and arrangement” of factual materialsthat may be subject to copyright. Id. Here, thelayout and color scheme of the two sets ofpublications of recipes are entirely different.  Defendants’ online version of the recipes features a two-column layout with the 34 ingredients shown on the left and the steps on the right andblack and white lettering, while Plaintiffs’ versionuses a single column and colorful lettering for thetitle and section headers. Cf. Boisson, 273 F.3d at274 (“In particular, the overwhelming similaritiesin color choices lean toward a finding ofinfringement”). And Plaintiffs’ failure to submit complete copies of her cookbooks and Defendants’online recipe collection prevents a reasonable jury from making the requisite finding of substantial similarity between the collections to support aclaim based on the selection or arrangement of acompilation. See Matthew Bender & Co.. v. WestPub. Co., 158 F.3d 674, 681-82 (2d Cir. 1998) (“If originally combined, a selection or arrangement ofunderlying materials that are themselvesunoriginal may support copyright protection.”).

Plaintiffs therefore fail to allege that Defendants copied any protectible elements of Coscarelli’s recipes. Cf. Barbour v. Head, 178 F.Supp.2d 758,764 (S.D. Tex. 2001) (denying summary judgmenton a claim of copyright infringement with respectto “recipes [that] contain[ed] more thanmechanical listings of ingredients and cookingdirections, ” including original “commentary” and“suggestions on the presentation of food”(emphasis added))>>

In breve n short, il claim 14 va respinto <<because Plaintiffs fail to allege that Defendants copied any protectible materia>>

Sono tutelabili via copyright gli Emojis?

Dice di si, l’ufficio USA.

Con decisione 26.07-.2021 il Copyright Review Board decide il reclamo amministrativo, proposto da Apple, su alcuni Emojis (evoluzione degli Emoticons), basati sulla riproduzione di un cuore rosso con qualche variante: v. immagini nel file qui linkato.

Alcuni sono costituiti da forme banali e quindi non proteggibili; altri invece da forme più originali e quindi sono ammessi alla protezine.

Si v. la motivazione su ciascuna immagine (fissa o in movimento)  fornita dal’Ufficio.

(notizia e link alla decisione dal blog di Eric Godlman)

Tutela d’autore e di marchio sulla medesima creazione

Si vedano le seguent immagini:

Il titolare della prima creazione ha agito sia in base a diritto di autore che di diritto di marchio contro il titolare della seconda (anzi la terza, essendo la secodna solo la rappresetnazione geografica dello stato del Michigan)

la Corte distrettuale del Michigan però ha rigettato ogni domanda (6 maggio 2021, Case No. 1:20cv604, High Five Threads c. Michigan Farm Boureau).

Il preteso disegno contraffattore << contain a basic line drawing of two hands. High Five does not possesscopyright protection overasimple outlineof a human hand. There is nothing original in such a drawing; it is the most basic representation of something from nature, familiar to every child who has ever traced herown hand. Does the juxtaposition of two such drawings at a right angle, as in the Hand Map, result in copyrightprotectible expression? If it does, the protectionfor that expression is “thin”at best,comprising no more than...original contribution to ideas already in the public domain.Satava v. Lowry, 323 F.3d 805, 812 (9th Cir. 2003).Two closefingered hands arranged perpendicular to one another as arepresentation of Michigan is simply a generic expression of the “popular idea of using ones’ hands to indicate the shape of Michigan.” (See Pl.’s Resp.24, ECF No. 17.)High Five did not invent this idea (see 25) and copyright does not protectit. At most, copyright protects original contributions to, or expressions of, that idea.

To be sure, High Five’s Hand Map is not devoid of protected expression. For instance, the folded pinkyand overlapping index finger are arguably protected elements. But those elementsarenot presentin MFB’s design; thus,MFB did not copy them>>, p. 7

Segue poi analisi della domanda di violazione di marchio.

Il giudizio di confonbilitòà va dato in base ai seguenti fattori (che sarebbe interssante paragonare a quelli italiani o europei): <<(1) strength of the senior mark; (2) relatedness of the goods or services; (3)similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) marketing channels used; (6) likely degree of purchaser care; (7) the intent of defendant in selecting the mark; and (8) likelihood of expansion of the product lines.>> p. 9

Come detto, viene rigettata anche tale domanda: <<In summary, the complaint contains very few facts from which to reasonablyinfer a likelihood of customer confusion. Indeed, the facts allegedindicate that such confusion is very unlikely.Only the distinctiveness of High Five’s marksweighs in its favor. But that distinctiveness cannot overcome the dissimilaritiesbetween its marksand the designsused by MFB, as well as the dissimilaritiesbetweenthe parties’ goods and services. Thus, High Five falls far short of stating a plausible claim under the Lanham Act>> p. 13.

Altro tema interessante è quello del rapporto tra le due tutele sulla medesima creazione: necessità di  ponderato coordinamento dogmatico o non ci sono attriti?