Monthly Archives: July, 2022

U.S. Copyright Deposits Are Important

U.S. copyright applications must be accompanied by a deposit of “complete copies of the best edition.” Two recent cases underscore the importance of deposit copies. In Pyrotechnics Management v. XFX Pyrotechnics, plaintiff claimed defendant infringed by copying computer commands designed to manage firework displays, generated in accordance with a method protocol. The deposit copy, however, included only a description of the protocol (basically a manual), only three of the actual messages generated in accordance with the protocol, and no code. Therefore, the court held that plaintiff’s copyright did not include code. It was limited to the description of the protocol, and not even the protocol itself because the protocol itself was an uncopyrightable method. Because defendant did not copy the description of the protocol, plaintiff lost. Had the plaintiff deposited code perhaps the result might have been different.

In Parker v. Hinton, No. 3:19-CV-00214, 2022 WL 706920 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 8, 2022), plaintiff was unable to prove that he deposited any material at all. Guess what. He lost too.

Bottom line: the deposit copies matter. They are required, and they stake the outer boundaries of copyright protection. The deposited copies should be a complete and accurate copy of the copyrighted work. The deposit copy should be the first piece of evidence examined by both plaintiff and defense counsel in litigation.

Monthly Archives: July, 2022

Connecticut Personal Data Privacy Law – What to Know

Connecticut passed a personal data privacy law this year. Here’s what businesses should know.

  • The law includes industry-specific and data-specific requirements, so business-specific analysis is required.
  • The law takes effect July 1, 2023, so there is time to prepare.
  • The law applies only to businesses possessing data of 100,000 or more CT consumers (if the business earns more than 25% of revenue from the sale of consumer data the number is 25,000). Non-profits, institutions of higher education and certain financial businesses subject to other regulations are exempt. HIPAA and other medical information, credit information, and certain other categories of information are exempt.
  • Businesses must disclose: the categories of personal data they process and the purpose of the processing; whether the business shares or sells personal data; and how consumers can access, modify, delete, or opt-out of use of their data.
  • Businesses must allow consumers to access their data, request copies, correct inaccuracies, and delete their personal data, and must comply with requests within a reasonable time, presumptively 45 days.
  • Businesses must employ “reasonable” security practices to protect consumer data and document those measures with respect to data that could be especially harmful to consumers if disclosed. That includes data used for targeted advertising or profiling.
  • Use of consumer data to improve functionality is permitted.
  • More strict requirements apply to child data.
  • There is no private right of action for violation of the law. Only the Connecticut Attorney General can enforce it. That means businesses will not be flooded with class action and contingent fee lawsuits on day one, and until 2025 the AG is required to give 60-day notice of any violation and an opportunity for the business to cure it before bringing suit.
  • Violation of the law is a violation of CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, for which remedies include punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • Connecticut joins California, Nevada, Maine (limited to ISPs), Colorado, Utah and Virginia in enacting specific data privacy laws. The California, Nevada and Maine laws already are in effect. The rest take effect beginning 2023. Many of the laws are similar, but not identical, so if you have customers in all those states, you should know all those laws.

You can read the Connecticut law here.

Monthly Archives: July, 2022

Substantial Similarity 2022 Released

Release #19 of Substantial Similarity in Copyright Law is now available from PLI.