Learn With Elaine: Superhero Ownership

Even though it does not really exist, a Marvel superhero is intellectual property that a company like Disney can own.

Why Grumpy Cat Can Finally Smile

Narrowing intellectual property rights, a court recently decided that the “Happy Birthday” song could enter the public domain because no one owned it.

Deciding Who Owns LeBron’s Tattoo

A Manhattan court will decide if tattoos on NBA athletes like LeBron James can have a copyright that protects artists’ intellectual property rights.

Weekly Roundup: From Skyscraper Shadows to Trendy Foods

This week’s everyday economics includes property rights, trade, creative destruction, entitlements, tradeoffs, conservation, externalities, price, and markets.

Why Birthday Cat Is Grumpy

When deciding whether the Happy Birthday song has a copyright, we are really debating how broad or narrow intellectual property rights should be.

Can the Supreme Court Change How We Watch TV?

At the Supreme Court this week, broadcasters sought to stop a small firm from competing against them. Saying it was violating copyright law, ABC led a group challenging Aereo’s business model. Aereo uses tiny antennas to send programming to viewers…

Innovation: More (or Fewer?) Sole Rights

A book that you write is your intellectual property. But what if you design the sole of a shoe? As econlife described last year: “The trademark of designer Christian Louboutin, his red soles are supposed to represent glamour, luxury and hidden…

A Trademark Sandwich

Combine either corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami with 2 large latkes (potato pancakes) and you have a $24.95 lunch that Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue Deli calls its Instant Heart Attack Sandwich. Because the Heart Attack Grill of Las Vegas threatened…

There’s No Such Thing as Free Music…

By Mira Korber, guest blogger. You are a young musician on the brink of your professional career. Graduation is in May, orchestra auditions are around the corner, and where do you go to begin preparing? The IMSLP, of course. The…

The Supreme Court and Picasso

This Supreme Court case could affect the music you hear at a concert, the book you can access on Google and the Picasso you might see online. The case is all about copyright protection. The question: If a foreign movie,…