Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Declaratory Actions: Fight for Your Right (to Infringe)

Dear Rich: Just wanted to see if you were thinking about doing anything on the GoldieBlox/Beastie Boys business. It seems to be getting a lot of traction in the social media world. Can you explain why the Beastie Boys got sued when their song got ripped? I'd like to read your thoughts! We usually don't comment on current events -- we're low on opinion hormones -- but your question has practical implications for our readers. For those who are unaware, GoldieBlox, a toy company, used a parody of a Beastie Boys song in a promotional video (above) and then, after being contacted by the Beastie Boys, filed a lawsuit in California.
Suing the injured party? Normally, the party that is wronged or injured -- in this case, The Beastie Boys -- would bring the lawsuit in their state of residence. However, GoldieBlox filed a declaratory action (although in this case, it's not clear why). A declaratory action occurs when one party goes to court claiming there is a dispute and asks for a declaration of each party’s rights. The court then provides a Declaratory Judgment.    
Is it for real? In order to bring a declaratory action, there must be proof of an actual controversy -- a controversy that exists when there is an explicit threat of a lawsuit or, to use legal lingo, when one party has a “reasonable apprehension of litigation.” We'll see whether the Beastie's lawyers will consider this issue or whether they'll plunge in with a counterclaim. 
How this may affect our readers. If you're writing a cease and desist letter and you want to avoid traveling to a faraway state, avoid threatening language in your letters and instead maintain an even-handed tone -- "I am hopeful we can resolve this amicably." Avoid mentioning a lawsuit. That may enable you to dismiss any declaratory actions because there is no "reasonable apprehension." On the other hand, if you don't care where you fight it out, don't bother with the niceties -- head in with guns blazing.
The Rube Goldberg element. With all this attention on the Beastie Boys, what are Rube Goldberg's rights? Goldberg is synonymous with complicated machines that accomplish very little. Some of his works are protected under copyright and the use of his name is restricted in certain contexts. Perhaps the guardians of Rube will join the PR fracas under a right of publicity argument. 
We're not a betting blog but if we were, our money would be on The Beastie Boys. Usually only snippets or short excerpts are excused as fair use song parodies.  When the whole song is used -- Weird Al Yankovic style -- a license is almost always required. If the judge is uncertain, then context matters ... and the Beastie Boys have a better backstory.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Can I Use Data From Job Posting Websites?

Dear Rich: I have read some of your material on fair use and have some questions: I want to start a business that deals with job searching. Particularly the website will be a job search engine that aggregates job postings (the entire job post) directly from the employers career pages - scraping and than re-posting the job postings on my website. The source of the job will mentioned at each job posting and the users will be redirected to the original web page of the employer - somehow similar to (1) Are job postings considered to be copyrighted materials? One thing to mention is that most websites include a " Copyright © 2013 XXX Inc. All rights reserved. " - like message on every page and also, most of them, include expressions like: "...The content of this website is the property of XXXX and is protected by copyright laws... " in their terms of use, and (2) Considering all this, does scraping and re-posting job postings from employers web-sites qualify as fair use? If you're operating a search engine, you're generally free to cache (copy and index) material from around the web without infringing any copyrights (at least according to one court). That holding is partially based on the principle that each site has the power to prevent caching with the insertion of code. And of course, at least one company seems to have pulled off the same product you're interested in creating. (Not that it can't still be a minefield --  some companies may not appreciate the aggregation of their listings.) Two things to consider:
Did you execute any end-user license agreements (EULA)? That is, did you have to click to agree to join a site from which you get material? If so, that EULA most likely prohibits you from scraping, copying, etc. In that case, if you violate the EULA, the site could come after you for the remedies set forth in the agreement, regardless of copyright law. Keep in mind that EULAs that require assent (click to agree, check this box, etc.) are different from, and much more likely to be enforceable, than a terms-of-use statement found at a website.
How much material are you taking? What type of material are you taking? Job postings typically are comprised of two copyrights: a copyright in the listings -- the words and expression of the listing -- and a compilation copyright for the database collection, organization and selection of listings.  As a job search engine, you are not likely to infringe the compilation because each search that you generate likely accesses a small percentage of each database collection. (Although there's no bright line test for compilations, courts have permitted copying of over 70% of some compilations.) As for copying the "expression" in the job listing, the more expressive or unique the writing in the job listing -- for example, funny or flowery listings -- the harder it is to justify copying the complete listing. That may explain why search engines typically only include the first sentence or two from search results. Of course, most job listings, like apartment rental listings, have a minimal level of originality and are primarily a collection of uncopyrightable facts. So you're not likely to run into problems.
Finally ...  avoid creating any claims or implication of association or endorsement -- for example, stating "We search for jobs at Apple and Microsoft."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Does Teacher Own Copyright to Lectures?

Dear Rich: I have been researching to find out whether a copyright attaches to course lectures and any recordings thereof made by the school (whether audio only or audiovisual). I have a client who would like to register several volumes of lectures, but I'm not sure copyright even attaches. I assume that most college professors get their teaching material from outside sources, but they might present the information in a unique and original way. How does this affect and their right to copyright their lectures and recordings of lectures (or really, the schools right to do so, pursuant to "work for hire" doctrine)? Although the underlying lecture facts are free for all to use, it's our experience that most lectures are sufficiently original to be copyrightable.
As for who owns the lectures ... Most professors likely retain rights to their lectures and notes. This is not due to statutory requirements -- the law seems clear that copyright vests in the university because the lectures are work made for hire (that is the professor is an employee of the institution and the lectures are prepared within the course of employment). However, in practice most schools permit professors to maintain ownership of lectures, notes, and related materials either by written arrangement (in some cases this grant is set forth in the employee handbook or under posted work made for hire guidelines) or it's simply implied by the lack of enforcement. (Note: A failure to cede back copyright to professors may inhibit the school's ability to attract talented teachers.)
Fixation. One issue that pops up when making a copyright analysis is fixation -- whether it is sufficient and with authorization (the professor wrote it all down somewhere) or whether it is without authorization (a student taking notes). If a lecture is primarily extemporaneous and not fixed with the speaker's authorization, it may not be protected under federal copyright but may be protected under what's known as a common law copyright principle. In any case, the issue surfaced anew over a website that encourages students to post lecture notes.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cease and Desist Using Band Name

Dear Rich: I just received an email today regarding a copyright/trademark infringement from an international source -- a band in England claiming to have an international registration for the a band name similar to our band (a local band in WI playing shows). To me it seems like a scam but a trademark search does reveal the registration. I know there are many other bands with a similar name in and around the country. Is this for real? What's my course of action? The British band has a valid U.S. trademark registration for a design mark --  a combination of the band name and an image. That gives it a leg up in any trademark battles because registration creates a nationwide presumption of priority -- that is, a presumption that the band was the first user of the name and that your subsequent use is likely to confuse the British band's fans. That's a presumption that you may be able to overcome. The fact that there are many bands with similar names may benefit your band if you can demonstrate that these bands have coexisted without any fan confusion -- that is, nobody has shown up at the gigs disappointed that they weren't seeing the band from Britain.
How far will they take it? Of course, sending out a threatening email doesn't cost anything. But hiring an American attorney and pursuing the claim may be too expensive for the British band. You may want to research the British band's business -- Are they signed to a label? Are they touring in the U.S.? Have you Googled "[band name] lawsuits"? It's possible that you may assess the risk as blue or green, not orange or yellow. On the other hand, knowing there are so many bands with similar names may prompt you to change yours.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Geometric Bead Patterns: Public Domain?

Dear Rich: A beading magazine has lots of instructions for beaded jewelry with intricate technique, and designs that are purely geometric. I suspect that most of the finished jewelry, though beautiful, are not registrable, because the copyright rules do not consider purely geometric designs sufficiently original. The beading magazine tells its readers that they may not make up these designs to sell, only for gifts or personal use. It seems to me that if the finished jewelry is not registrable, then the only rights that the beading magazine has to limit the subscriber is an EULA. I don't think I had to sign such an agreement in order to buy the magazine, though digital copies may have a clickwrap. Is the magazine in the right? Geometric shapes -- pentagrams, stars, arrows, rectangles, etc. -- are not copyrightable but geometric patterns combining those shapes may be protected. Like many things in copyright there is a spectrum of protection and the most minimal designs are typically afforded the least protection -- for example, in one copyright casethe minimalist jeweler Paul Morelli was unable to stop Tiffany's from selling 17 of his simple designs.
But how do I know what's protected? Section 503.02(a) of the Copyright Compendium directs the Copyright Office to refuse registration for common geometric shapes. However, Section 503.02(b) permits registration for combinations of sculptural geometric figures if they "consist of something more than the mere bringing together of two or three standard forms or shapes with minor linear or spatial variations." A 1989 Court of Appeals decision (authored by then-circuit court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg) summarized some of the cases in which combinations of geometric shapes have achieved protection.
[W]e note that simple shapes, when selected or combined in a distinctive manner indicating some ingenuity, have been accorded copyright protection both by the Register and in court. See, e.g., Soptra Fabrics Corp. v. Stafford Knitting Mills, Inc., 490 F.2d 1092, 1094 (2d Cir.1974) (concluding that fabric design consisting of strip of crescents with scalloping or ribbons and rows of semicircles "constitutes modest but sufficient originality so as to support the copyright"); Tennessee Fabricating Co. v. Moultrie Mfg. Co., 421 F.2d 279, 282 (5th Cir.) (holding that filigree pattern of intercepting 884*884 straight and arc lines "possessed at least the minimal degree of creativity required for a copyright"), cert. denied, 398 U.S. 928, 90 S.Ct. 1819, 26 L.Ed.2d 91 (1970); Concord Fabrics, Inc. v. Marcus Bros. Textile Corp., 409 F.2d 1315, 1316 (2d Cir.1969) (treating as subject to copyright protection fabric design consisting of a circle within a square within a circle); In Design v. Lynch Knitting Mills, Inc., 689 F.Supp. 176, 178-79 (S.D.N.Y.) (upholding copyright of rhomboid pattern on a sweater), aff'd, 863 F.2d 45 (2d Cir.1988).
Can you copy and sell the designs? The magazine's position seems to be that it will not prosecute infringements for personal or gift use but that it reserves the right to sue over commercial uses. (You're correct that absent an end user license agreement (EULA) you have no contractual obligations.) Whether the magazine will pursue you depends on if: (1)  the magazine believes its copyright is defensible (Where do the designs fall in the spectrum of geometric designs? Will the copyright claim stand up in court?); (2) the magazine learns of your sale (Where are you on their radar?); and (3) the magazine wants to become embroiled in a legal action (Can it afford the suit? Does it want to litigate against one of its readers?).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Famous Person Won't Pay for Web Work

Dear Rich: I designed a blog for a certain very famous person several years ago, and everyone was happy. This past summer, I outlined a list of updates that I would suggest making, and they agreed that those were all a good idea, so I wrote up an estimate and started work. Work was submitted for review by them in July. The review took forever, I issued an invoice at the end of August (I hadn't heard anything and didn't want to wait), the famous person got grumpy, didn't pay the invoice for 2 months, then sent me 40% last week with an email saying it took too long to complete and they wouldn't pay the balance until sometime in December. I gave them notice that this wasn't acceptable, and, when I didn't hear back from them within 24 hours, I suspended their access to the backend of their website. The site remained live and active, and nobody but them would know what was going on. This is a pretty standard practice in this industry, much like when one doesn't pay one's electric bill, and it successfully got their attention, for better and worse. They decided they no longer want to work with me (no problem here!), and asked me to surrender access to all domain hosts and registrars etc, as well as sign a confidential settlement agreement. I've given them access to all sites and registrations and everything that they can legally consider theirs. I've even agreed to let them continue using my creative work (the theme that the blog uses) as long as I get paid for it and can take credit for my work. 2 pretty basic things. The problem is the settlement agreement. This is what I do for a living, and I don't want to remove the site from my portfolio, but they want that to be a term of the settlement agreement. They insist that I not link to the site or use the famous person's name. I pushed back and added a clause declaring the design and programming to be mine, and they have yet to get back to me about that. Because I've given them access to everything they need to transfer the website, they have begun transferring everything over to a new server, including my intellectual property, and I'm pretty sure that they won't negotiate on the settlement agreement until they've completely removed the site from my servers.We're about to enter a situation where I have no leverage, and they won't agree to pay me unless I sign a contract agreeing to their terms.  Should I take measures to stop them from transferring the part of the site that is my intellectual property? Should I issue a cease-and-desist since they're currently using my intellectual property without my permission? The only two things I care about are getting paid for work done months ago and being able to take credit for my work. We think you're likely to be outgunned in a legal battle. Here's why:
  • Unless you had a contractual right to do it, turning off "under-the-hood" access could work against you.
  • If you started the work without approval, that may relieve or reduce the famous person's obligations.
  • As for your contribution to the look and feel of the site -- "the theme" -- you could have a hard time claiming proprietary rights
  • Alternatively a court may determine that you granted the famous person a nonexclusive implied license to use your theme. 
  • Even if you prevail, the costs will easily exceed any potential payout (unless you have an attorney fees provision). 
So what about settling? You want credit and payment. Famous people are picky about who can use their name for promotional purposes so you need a workaround for the credit and portfolio rights. Perhaps there is some special language you can agree upon that will satisfy all the parties -- for example a statement in your portfolio that the reference is not intended to imply famous person's endorsement. (In the future, try to negotiate credit before you start work.) If you use any backend software programming and coding tricks -- the things that you developed and routinely use to make your job easier -- then retain rights to continue using those.  Have an attorney review the settlement. Try to get payment in full at the time of signing. You want to walk out with the money.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wants to Use TV Characters in Hypotheticals

Dear Rich: I was writing a hypothetical example for an article, using character names from “The Wire” (relatively obscure: “Cheese” and “Slim”) without referring to the show. I had always assumed this was okay, but then I wondered… Do you think this is an okay practice? Even if the characters are more well-known (e.g., main characters from “Breaking Bad”)? Absolutely! And maybe you can sneak in some references to our favorite non-edgy British TV series. It's difficult to imagine how you could get in trouble using character names in legal, business, or other hypotheticals -- perhaps getting hassled for using the hypothetical in an ad or perhaps for multiple uses of the characters such that it borders on fanfiction -- but in general our imaginings seemed far fetched and "non-threatening" to copyright owners. And for what it's worth, considering the many law school professors who rely on movie and TV show characters for hypotheticals, we feel like the legal establishment is on your side.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wants to Publish Kids Book with Car Logos

Dear Rich: I read your blog about trademarks about cars in cd cover art. I have a similar question but different media, I would like to publish a children’s book about car logos. A to Z about cars. I wanted to illustrate my car art and alphabetically name car models or car manufacturers for the car crazy kids of all ages. If I had said A for Alfa Romeo, B for Buick and draw a picture of their logo and a car, would it infringe their copyright/trademark? As for editorial and informational uses of the car logos and names (trademarks), permission would not be required for your book (as we explain in this article). As for the images of the cars, the shape and appearance is not protected under copyright law (with the exception of high-concept cars such as the Batmobile) so you're free to draw your own images (or take photos) and you would own the copyright in those images. The only way you're likely to get hassled is if you imply that a car company endorsed your book or is associated with your book (for example, the use of an auto logo on the cover or advertisement confuses readers as to whether the book comes from you or Toyota).
P.S. Dept. Yes, there are car names that begin with X (and don't forget ...)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wants to Create iBooks Coursebook

Dear Rich: I am a middle school Social Studies teacher who is exploring the possibility of creating my own course textbook using iBook Author. I do not plan to distribute the book via the iTunes store, but will post the file for download on a password-protected website accessible only by faculty and students of my school. What I would like to to is collect information from various online articles and websites and put it together in a way that is custom-fit to my course. For instance: for a chapter on globalization, I would like to use information from this National Geographic webpage: This information would be combined (in the text of the iBook) with information from a textbook (of which the school purchased class sets). I would not be reproducing all of the material in its entirety, but would be paraphrasing and using excerpts. All photos included in the book would be obtained from websites such as wikimedia commons and would be copyright-free. I would like to know if I need to obtain permission (from the websites and textbook publisher) to use this kind of information since: it is for educational use; I am not making profit; it is being distributed only to my students; and we have purchased the textbooks from the publishers. How should I go about citing said work? It sounds like what you're doing is creating a course pack -- we've written about the legal rules for course packs at the Stanford Fair Use site -- and if your course pack is discovered by one of the copyright owners (such as National Geographic), you (and your school) could find a cease and desist letter in the mailbox. That's because if you're copying from online articles and from text books without permission, then you're probably infringing (regardless of the educational purpose). It's possible that if you use only excerpts and paraphrasing, you will limit your liability and it may even be excused as a fair use. However, a court would have to be the final word on those issues.
All that said ... By the way, purchasing the textbooks doesn't grant you the right to reproduce material, it only gives you the right to resell the textbook, a principle known as the first sale doctrine. Of course, you're free to assume the associated risks with placing your books on a password protected website. As we've said before, you won't get sued if the copyright owner never learns of your infringement (or if the owner learns about it but doesn't care).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Posting Song Lyrics at Memorial Sites

Dear Rich: Can you post song lyrics at an online memorial site such as those offered by if you credit the author of the lyrics? I have found the lyrics printed on at least five other sites, including Wikipedia. When you use you agree, to their terms of service which state:
You agree not to Submit any Material that ... contains copyrighted content (copyrighted articles, illustrations, images, lyrics, photos, audio, video, poems, text, or other content) without the express permission of the owner of the copyrights in the content.
So, if you're the kind of person who abides by all the rules (i.e., you never enter through the exit at Costco) then you probably wouldn't post copyrighted lyrics. If you're the kind of person who disregards terms of service, then the next consideration is whether the copyright owner (or's administrators) will notice the infringement, and if so, whether they will do anything about it. We think the answer to both questions is "No." In any case, it's hard to imagine a song publisher suing someone for infringement over a memorial posting. The bad publicity on that would surpass even the Macarena fall-out. Finally, crediting the author won't excuse infringement, and the "everybody else is doing it" defense (applicable in some situations) also won't fly.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wants to Use Corporate Slogans in Self-Help Book

Dear Rich: I have written a self help book. In the first chapter I give 5 guidelines and I have used advertisement slogans as heading for each topic. Example: "Just do it: When you are in this situation you have to do what is necessary and keep making the effort." Just do it is Nike's slogan. Can I use it like this? Slogans are trademarks -- they identify and distinguish products and services -- and you are free to use them for informational/editorial purposes without asking for permission.In other words, use within your book should be fine. If you're looking for more security, include a prominent disclaimer such as "Corporate slogans and trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use here does not imply any association or endorsement." If you're still feeling paranoid, avoid using the slogans in the advertising or cover materials for the book --  or at least avoid doing so in a manner (like our example above) that implies an association or endorsement.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wants to Quote Tolstoy in Comedy

Tolstoy: Two Russians walk into a bar
Dear Rich: I am a playwright. I've written a comedic play in which characters quote Leo Tolstoy from War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Two characters are quoting Tolstoy to prove who knows more about Tolstoy. They also cite (for comedic purposes) the edition from which the quote came. Both of these Tolstoy books were written prior to 1923, but a number of translations were written after 1923. I'm confused if my use of Tolstoy under fair use law applies. At the Nolo website, it says "parody" is usually deemed as fair use, although my script doesn't actually "parody" Tolstoy. We think your use of Tolstoy quotes for comedy purposes is unlikely to run into problems. The Russian versions of Tolstoy's works are in the public domain throughout the world. (Tolstoy has been dead over 100 years, longer than any international copyright terms.).
However ...  Translations of public domain works are entitled to separate copyright protection. But it's a copyright with limits because the translator can never claim rights to Tolstoy's language or it's "meaning." Because the translation copyright is often fairly "thin," publishers of translations are generally concerned about preventing wholesale copying of the books, not the use of short phrases from War and Peace or Anna Karenina in a play. If you are still concerned, consider using Google Translate (and bypass the existing translations) - {:].
As for parody and fair use ... You might have misunderstood the information at the Nolo site (Here are summaries of some parody cases.) For a parody to qualify as fair use, it should be transformative. We don't think you'll be engaged in a fair use argument with a translator, but if you are, your use of the material for a purpose other than Tolstoy intended -- like you are doing -- is often considered transformative.
BTW Dept. ... Tolstoy's eventual distaste for his own literary success led him to dedicate works written after 1880 to the public domain.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Transferring Rights to EPO Opposition

Dear Rich, I have a small company and we filed to challenge an IP before the EPO office. We are in the process of dissolving the company and starting a new one. My question is: How to transfer the rights to the proceedings to the new company? Is there a form we can use?  Before seeking the process, you should be clear as to whether you can transfer the rights. Apparently, an unfettered transfer of rights as an opposer is not permitted -- that is, the status as an opposer cannot be freely transferred. In order to transfer your opposer status, you would have to demonstrate that the new opposer is your "universal successor in law" -- that is, a party that has acquired all of the assets and debts of the previous opposer. (Scroll down to page 17, Section 3.1.) Whoever is acquiring the rights to your dissolved company must be able to show that title has been clearly transferred to the new entity (an attorney's help is recommended).
Case summaries and requests ... At the EPO site, the Board of Appeals summarizes several cases involving transfers of opposer status. You may find this information helpful because the Board explains that the transfer process begins with a request filed with the EPO. We're not experts on the EPO and opposition proceedings but we assume that request is a separate document filed with the EPO (or it may be facilitated using Section 8 of the Notice of opposition to a European patent.) But as far as we can tell, there doesn't appear to be a specific form for use for transferring rights as a opposer. (At least, no such form is listed at the EPO's forms page.) Two ways to obtain further information: find a case involving an opposer transfer and request all of the documents in that case, contact the EPO administrator for your opposition, or seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with EPO procedures.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is Novelty Satisfied by Omitting Element from Prior Art?

Patent # 3771192 -  Combination toy dog and vacuum cleaner
Dear Rich: I've received an Office Action, in which my independent claim is rejected under 35 USC 102. The cited prior art does appear to "anticipate" my independent claim by inherently showing each element of it. However, the prior art is more complex than what is claimed in my invention: the prior art has parts A and B, while my claim has only part A. I'd like to request withdrawal of this rejection based on David Pressman's reasoning, who in his Patent-It-Yourself (14th ed.) notes in Chapter 5 (Is It Patentable) that "even omitting an element can be considered novel. For example, if a machine has always had four gears, and you find that it will work with three, you've satisfied the novelty." However, citing Pressman in the Amendment seems inappropriate. So my questions are: 1) Is it true that novelty can be satisfied by omitting an essential element from a prior art reference? 2) If so, is there a specific MPEP reference or other authoritative source that I can cite in my Amendment to request withdrawal of this rejection? For those not familiar with patent law, an Office Action is a response by a patent examiner that usually consists of objections to the patent application. In this case, one objection is that the invention is not new when compared to the prior art -- all inventions in existence before the application's filing date. We spoke to author David Pressman who writes that "the omission of an element with retention of its function can definitely be novel and unobvious." Pressman suggests that you review MPEP Section 2144. "However," adds the Patent It Yourself author, "you must claim it in a way that recites the novelty to distinguish over the prior art." Pressman advises not to make the claim too narrow and that the use of terminology such as “consisting” and “having only” can be useful.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wants to Create Raggedy Ann Show

Hasbro's "Dress Me Raggedy Ann" doll
Dear Rich: I keep circling back to an idea I have for some low budget, non-children's theater showcasing Raggedy Ann's anarchist streak. The books are in the public domain. I would like to recreate certain scenes with almost all of the original characters. It's not mockery, but it is weird, and for an audience different than originally intended. Might this be protected as satire? As you probably know from our previous Raggedy Ann post, the original Raggedy Ann books (Raggedy Ann Stories (1918) and Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) and any others published before 1923) are in the public domain. Because of this public domain status, we feel that a work that reproduces or recreates the stories in the 1918 and 1920 books will not violate copyrights.
But ... Alas, we can't be sure whether you will be hassled by the publisher, Simon and Schuster, or the toy company, Hasbro, who have cordoned off certain trademarks for the characters, making it harder to navigate rights. For example, the only movie we could find based on the Raggedy Ann characters was a 1977 film produced by Bobbs-Merill, the previous owner of trademark rights before they were transferred to Macmillan and then to Simon and Schuster.  Of course, trademark ownership of public domain characters has not gotten in the way of some theatrical creations -- for example, Disney owns Snow White trademarks but did nothing to stop movies such as Snow White and The Huntsmen or Mirror Mirror, two movies that borrowed from the public domain fairy tales, but not from the Disney creations.