Chavez, Rivard Examine Scope of Copyright Protection for Creative Content Use in Bloomberg Law

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Stinson LLP attorney Adrianna Chavez and Partner Ruth Rivard authored an article for Bloomberg Law, "Fortnite Dance Ruling Teaches a Lesson on Creative Content Use," that analyzes the scope of copyright protections for artistic expression, with a particular focus on how choreographic work is legally protected.

"Most businesses rely on various types of media content to promote themselves online. However, such use can easily cross the line into infringement as a new generation of creators seeks copyright protection for works that originate as social content," the attorneys write.

Chavez and Rivard provide insight on a recent court ruling involving the creator of the Fortnite video game, celebrity choreographer Kyle Hanagami and a two-second sequence of dance moves originating from Hanagami's registered choreography. The attorneys say "a business doesn’t have to use a choreographer’s distinctive dance move in a massively popular game to be accused of infringing copyright protections" and provide guidance for businesses using aspects of creative works for business purposes.

"Businesses that incorporate dance moves and other artistic elements into their products must exercise greater diligence to ensure that any segment of choreography used is original, licensed, or outside the scope of copyright protection," the attorneys write. "They also should be careful when using clips from movies, music videos, YouTube, and social media reels, as the boundaries of what is protected under copyright law continue to expand."

Chavez focuses her practice on brand protection, software copyright ownership, and intellectual property infringement litigation. She represents plaintiffs and defendants across multiple industries in trademark, trade secret, copyright, patent and false advertising cases in federal courts nationwide.

Rivard focuses her practice on patent, copyright, trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition litigation and brand management. She represents both defendants and plaintiffs in federal and state courts, federal appellate courts, and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

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