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Velvet Underground’s Copyright Claim Against Warhol Foundation, Over the “Banana Album” Cover, is Dismissed. Trademark Claims Survive.

Velvet Underground and Nico, the Southern District of New York dismissed the band’s demand for a declaratory judgment that Warhol did not own the copyright.  The court held that, because the Foundation signed an unconditional covenant not to sue for copyright infringement, there was no justiciable controversy and the court could not hear the case.   Velvet Underground’s trademark claims over the iconic banana are still alive. The opinion: Velvet Underground v. Andy Warhol Foundation Notes:  The United States Supreme Court is currently hearing a case directly on point, involving whether a court can retain jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment action when the opposing party submits a covenant not to sue.  See Nike v. Already. Trademark interests and copyrights interests are distinct and unique, but these rights often collide.  It is important to understand the difference between the two and to have written agreements clarifying both. For informational purposes only.  Not legal advice.]]]]> ]]>

Road to Nowhere

In Liminae: The Road to Nowhere

It takes us about six hours to drive to the rural state jail (that’s owned by two judges) the Feds contracted with to hold our client. Accused of computer crimes, he can’t effectively review evidence in jail – there’s no practical access to computers in the gulag. They’ve seized all his assets claiming they’re the ill-gotten gains of crimes the government can’t identify, and their computer forensics – if you can call them that – have no scientific basis and are full of basic errors and typos. In my decade as a federal criminal defense lawyer doing computer cases across the country, I’ve never come across a case where the government was so completely off.

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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

A defendant’s view from the trenches of federal criminal court This post is originally published to Substack. You can read and follow us there.

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