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Mealey's Copyright

  • June 22, 2018

    PETA, Photographer Debate En Banc Rehearing In Monkey Selfie Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a wildlife photographer and a website operator filed supplemental briefs in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals June 15, addressing whether en banc rehearing is merited of a panel’s finding that a monkey lacked statutory standing to sue for infringement of selfie photos he took under the Copyright Act (Naruto. v. David J. Slater, et al., No. 16-15469, 9th Cir.).

  • June 22, 2018

    9th Circuit: Copyright Claim Over ‘Walk Of Shame’ Was Unreasonable

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge’s decision to award actress Elizabeth Banks and others attorney fees in connection with their successful defense of copyright infringement allegations was not erroneous, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 21 (Shame on You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 16-55024, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16764).

  • June 21, 2018

    9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Against Software Provider Fail

    SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations by two residential real estate photographers that the real estate software provider for a multiple listing service (MLS) violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by removing their copyright management information (CMI) were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16620).

  • June 19, 2018

    9th Circuit Upholds Damages, Fee Award In BitTorrent ‘Swarm’ Cases

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 18 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Washington federal judge’s decision to award a single statutory damage award in each of five cases involving the same BitTorrent “swarm” upload of the film “London Has Fallen” (LHF Production Inc. v. Doe 1, et al., No. 17-35237, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16360).

  • June 15, 2018

    High Court Asked To Decide If Nontaxable Costs Can Be Awarded Under Copyright Act

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 31 petition for certiorari, a software support firm argues that a prevailing party can be awarded only taxable, not nontaxable costs, under the Copyright, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a difference of opinions among the circuit courts of appeal on the issue (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al.., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 15, 2018

    News Service Seeks Review Of Copyright Registration Requirement For Litigation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to a U.S. government amicus curiae brief, a news organization in a June 5 supplemental brief to the U.S. Supreme Court maintains that its petition for certiorari should be granted to resolve a circuit split over whether a copyright applicant is entitled to sue for infringement prior to achieving registration (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 15, 2018

    Successors To Abbott And Costello Estates Must Pay Fees In Copyright Case

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on June 12 adopted a New York federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that defendants accused of copyright infringement by the successors in interest to the estates of comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello should be awarded $50,123.04 in attorney fees in connection with the case (TCA Television Corp., et al. v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 15-4325, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98551).

  • June 14, 2018

    Amici Support Google’s Rehearing Petition In Java Fair Use Dispute With Oracle

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nonprofit organizations The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge (PK) were among the interested parties that filed amicus curiae briefs with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 and 12 in support of Google LLC’s petition for rehearing en banc, arguing that a panel ruling over Google’s use of Java technology in its Android smartphone operating system ignored fair use case law and could have a detrimental impact on technological innovations (Oracle America Inc. v. Google LLC, Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 13, 2018

    Extension Of Time To Oppose Report Sought In Copyright, Trademark Case

    NEW YORK — In a June 13 letter motion, plaintiffs’ attorneys requested a two-week extension to file objections to a June 8 New York federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that they be awarded a default judgment on just three of seven counts of copyright infringement (Conan Properties International LLC, et al. v. Ricardo Jové Sanchez, No. 17-162, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98631).

  • June 12, 2018

    Florida Magistrate Judge: Corporate Officers Can Be Added To Copyright Case

    MIAMI — A plaintiff was granted leave to amend its copyright infringement complaint on June 11 by a Florida federal magistrate judge, to add various individuals as defendants, but a related request to allege that the individuals are liable for secondary infringement was rejected (43 North Broadway LLC v. Essential Media Group LLC, No. 17-24518, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97497).

  • June 11, 2018

    Settlement In Principle Reached In Long-Running YouTube Fair Use Case

    OAKLAND, Calif. — One year after a YouTube user was denied certiorari on questions of fair use and good faith surrounding the takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a California federal magistrate judge announced in a June 6 minute entry that the parties in the 11-year old case had “reached in principle” a settlement of the remaining issues (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 4:07-cv-03783, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 6, 2018

    Nevada Federal Judge Won’t Reconsider Dismissal Of False Advertising Claim

    LAS VEGAS — A November 2017 order that dismissed with prejudice allegations of copyright misuse, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and false advertising by Oracle International Corp. will not be reconsidered, a Nevada federal judge ruled June 5 (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle International Corp., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94585).

  • June 5, 2018

    VidAngel To 9th Circuit: Studios’ Conspiracy Against Filterers Plausibly Alleged

    SAN FRANCISCO — Online video-filtering service provider VidAngel Inc. argues in a June 1 reply brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its antitrust counterclaims in a copyright dispute were wrongly dismissed because it plausibly alleged a conspiracy by the plaintiff movie studios to boycott filtering services despite public demand for such services (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 17-56665, 9th Cir.).

  • June 4, 2018

    Jay-Z, Others Prevail In Appeal Of ‘Big Pimpin’’ Copyright Judgment

    SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations by the heir of an Egyptian composer that rapper Jay-Z, also known as Shawn Carter, improperly copied from “Khosara Khosara” in the “hook” of the hit song “Big Pimpin’” were properly rejected by a California federal judge, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 31 (Osama Ahmed Fahmy v. Jay-Z, et al., No. 16-55213, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14334).

  • June 4, 2018

    7th Circuit Affirms: Defendant Authored Work Before Copyright Plaintiff

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge did not err in granting a romance novelist summary judgment on allegations of copyright infringement, in view of undisputed evidence that the accused work was completed before the plaintiff’s, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 1 (Kelly Rucker v. Donna Fasano, et al., No. 17-3608, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14575).

  • May 31, 2018

    California Federal Judge: ‘Let It Go’ Copyright Claims Are Time-Barred

    LOS ANGELES — In a May 21 ruling, a California federal judge found that direct and indirect copyright infringement allegations surrounding the hit song “Let It Go,” from the movie “Frozen,” must be dismissed with regard to any acts occurring before Nov. 23, 2014 — when the three-year statutory limitations period began under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 507(b) (Jaime Ciero v. The Walt Disney Company, et al., No. 17-8544, C.D. Calif.).

  • May 31, 2018

    California Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Copyright Dispute Over Bots

    LOS ANGELES — In a 39-page order issued May 29, a California federal judge rejected efforts by the operators of alleged “bots” to obtain dismissal of copyright infringement allegations levied in connection with their mass purchase of tickets for live entertainment events (Ticketmaster L.L.C. v. Prestige Entertainment West Inc., et al., No. 17-7232, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89347).

  • May 31, 2018

    Google Seeks Rehearing Of Fair Use Ruling In Java Copyright Dispute With Oracle

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 29 petition in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Google LLC says “novel questions of exceptional importance” over the fair use of existing software interfaces merit en banc rehearing of a panel’s finding that Google’s use of certain Java code in its Android operating system infringed the copyrights of Oracle America Inc. (Oracle America Inc. v. Google LLC, Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).

  • May 31, 2018

    9th Circuit Judge Issues Sua Sponte Request To Rehear Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a May 25 order, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced that an unidentified judge of the court has requested, sua sponte, a vote on en banc rehearing of an April ruling that a monkey lacks standing under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., to maintain an action for infringement (Naruto, a Crested Macaque, by and through his Next Friends, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. David John Slater, et al., No. 16-15469, 9th Cir.).

  • May 30, 2018

    Louisiana Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright, Trademark Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — A copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff’s effort to establish jurisdiction in Louisiana based upon a defendant’s access of a computer server there was unsuccessful May 29, when a Louisiana federal judge found that it is unclear whether the access was without permission (Future World Electronics LLC v. Results HQ LLC, No. 17-17982, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88979).