- Posts by Sarah Sue LandauAssociate
Sarah Sue’s practice focuses on trademark and copyright clearance, prosecution, enforcement, litigation, and IP related transactions.
“When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time playing basketball, singing in my choir ...
The Copyright Act lists “choreographic works” as one of the eight types of creative works that are protectable under federal copyright law (17 U.S.C. Section 102(a)(4)). However, the Act itself does not define “choreographic works” and thus far, there has been surprisingly little case law discussing the scope of what can or cannot be protected. A recent Ninth Circuit case, Hanagami v. Epic Games, Inc., took a stab at addressing this question and ultimately provided some helpful guidance.
The Copyright Act protects “original works of authorship.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a) (emphasis added). Courts have uniformly understood “authorship” to refer to a quality that is uniquely “human,” often alluding to the nexus between the human mind and creative expression. For example, some of the earliest copyright cases defined copyright as “the exclusive right of man to the production of his own genius or intellect.” Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 56 (1884). See also Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S 82, 94 (1879) (explaining that copyright law only protects “the fruits of intellectual labor” that are “founded in the creative powers of the mind”).