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IP Corner: Miley Cyrus Copyright Dispute

IP Corner: Miley Cyrus Copyright Dispute

In this week’s IP corner we’ll be focusing on the differences between US and UK copyright law, how you can protect your work and ensure you are not accidentally taking someone else’s!

Most recently Miley Cyrus found has found herself in the hot-seat, and is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for posting a picture of themselves on Instagram without the correct licensing or permissions from the photographer.

On Friday, September 9, paparazzi photographer Robert Barbera filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Cyrus, claiming she reposted his 2020 photo  that showed her waving to onlookers as she exited a building in February of that year. The image was shared her 180 million followers without permission from Barbera, who had registered the photo with the U.S. Copyright Office on April 11 but didn’t notice Cyrus had posted it until a month later. According to the site Law360, Barbera claimed the photo “increased traffic” to Cyrus’ account and caused her an increase in the revenues generated through the sale of her music or associated business partnership.

In the UK, copyright is an automatic right. This means you don’t need to formally register it. However, this makes it even more important to understand how to protect your own work, and what is permitted when using other people’s work.

Copyright protects a wide range of creative works – literary, artistic and musical, as well as most recordings and broadcasts, and most software. It protects you from other people copying your work, or using your work without your permission.

Here are some useful links that Miley might have found useful!

Copyright (comprehensive information from the UK Intellectual Property Office)

Who owns the copyright?

Using other people’s work (produced by copyright academics, with the aim of making UK copyright law accessible to the public.

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