Mealey's Copyright

  • October 17, 2019

    In Supplemental Brief, Google Defends Certiorari Bid In Java Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to an amicus curiae brief filed by the U.S. government, Google LLC filed a supplemental brief in support of its petition for certiorari on Oct. 16, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that its presented questions regarding the copyrightability of software interfaces are of “breathtaking importance” to the practice of reimplementation that is vital to the software industry (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 17, 2019

    ACLU, Professors, Others File Amicus Briefs In High Court Government Edicts Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Civil Liberties Union and two groups of professors filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16, bringing the tally to 13 for briefs filed in support of the respondent’s position that the government edicts doctrine renders annotations accompanying written copies of public laws uncopyrightable (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 15, 2019

    Record Labels Told To Supplement Filings In Remanded Vimeo Copyright Suit

    NEW YORK — More than three years after the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly reversed a trial court’s ruling in favor of an online video-sharing service provider in a copyright infringement suit against it, a New York federal judge on Oct. 4 directed the plaintiff record labels to supplement and clarify their submitted evidence supporting assertions that employees of Vimeo LLC had “red flag knowledge” that certain user-submitted videos were infringing (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 1:09-cv-10101 and -10105, S.D. N.Y.).

  • October 08, 2019

    6th Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment On Copyright Claim

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 vacated a Michigan federal judge’s grant of summary judgment that two defendants are not liable for copyright infringement because the copyrights at issue were not unambiguously transferred in a 2013 asset sale (Evoqua Water Technologies LLC v. M.W. Watermark LLC, et al., Nos. 18-2397, 18-2398, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30023).

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Denies Copyright Volitional Conduct Petition Over Online Photo Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 declined to consider three questions over the role that volitional conduct plays in copyright infringement, denying a petition for certiorari by a real estate photography firm, which sued Zillow Inc. for its purportedly infringing use of certain photographs in its online listings that the petitioner said Zillow had the ability to control (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 18-1540, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 03, 2019

    In New York, VARA Claim Survives But Copyright Claim Tossed

    NEW YORK — Allegations by an artist that two individual defendants falsely attributed her name as the creator of an oil painting will proceed in New York federal court, according to an Oct. 2 ruling (Annamarie Trombetta v. Marie Novocin, et al., No. 18-993, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171228).

  • October 03, 2019

    Solicitor General Counsels Against Certiorari In Google, Oracle Java Copyright Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Opining that lines of Java computer code copied by Google LLC constituted protectable expressive content, Solicitor General (SG) Noel J. Francisco, in a Sept. 27 amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of the U.S. government, asserts that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly ruled in favor of Oracle America Inc. in a long-running copyright dispute, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court deny Google’s petition for certiorari (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 01, 2019

    Federal Judge Reconsiders Ruling In Coverage Suit Over Copyright Infringement Claims

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 27 entered judgment in favor of general and excess liability insurers one day after granting their motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that they had a duty to defend their insured against an underlying copyright infringement suit, finding that they had no duty to defend (Jovani Fashion, Ltd. v. Federal Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-4518, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165898).

  • September 30, 2019

    Prevailing Copyright Infringement Defendant Denied Fees In New York

    NEW YORK — Just over one year after winning a summary judgment that their display of 116 thumbnail versions of photographs taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson qualified as a fair use, two art galleries were denied an award of attorney fees on Sept. 26 by a federal judge in New York (Magnum Photos International Inc. v. Houk Gallery Inc., et al., No. 16-7030, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165852).

  • September 30, 2019

    $62.4 Million Judgment Issued Against VidAngel In Studios’ Copyright Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Sept. 23 issued judgment against VidAngel Inc., in accordance with a $62.4 million jury verdict that penalized the online video-filtering service provider for violating the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) via its services (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 27, 2019

    North Carolina Says Copyright Statute Does Not Abrogate State Sovereign Immunity

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA) does not abrogate states’ sovereign immunity, North Carolina argues to the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept.  20 brief, asking the high court to find that the statute is unconstitutional and that its enactment “was not a valid exercise of Congress’s enumerated powers (Frederick L. Allen, et al. v. Roy A. Cooper III, et al., No. 18-877, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 27, 2019

    In Ohio, Copyright Claims Over House Design Survive Dismissal

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A couple and their homebuilder won dismissal Sept. 24 of allegations of unfair competition but will face copyright claims levied in connection with their home design, a federal judge in Ohio ruled (W.H. Midwest LLC v. A.D. Baker Homes, No. 18-1387, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163108).

  • September 23, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Tosses Copyright Claims Against CBS, Netflix

    NEW YORK — Allegations that CBS Broadcasting Inc., Netflix Inc. and others copied the concept behind an unreleased science fiction videogame for incorporation into “Star Trek: Discovery” fail as a matter of law, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 20 (Anas Osama Ibrahim Abdin v. CBS Broadcasting Inc., et al., No. 18-7543, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161153).

  • September 19, 2019

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Against Steve Winwood

    CINCINNATI — In a divided Sept. 17 holding, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Tennessee federal judge’s summary judgment that musician Steve Winwood and others did not infringe a copyright covering the song “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” (Willia Dean Parker, et al. v. Steve Winwood, et al., No. 18-5305, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27902).

  • September 17, 2019

    Copyright, False Endorsement Claims Against E*Trade Tossed

    NEW YORK — In a Sept. 13 holding a federal judge in New York rejected allegations that E*Trade Financial Corp. infringed copyrighted elements of various videos produced and owned by an Italian entrepreneur (Gianluca Vacchi v. E*Trade Financial Corporation, No. 19-3505, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156972).

  • September 17, 2019

    5th Circuit Affirms: Implicit License To Use Seismic Data Granted

    NEW ORLEANS — A Texas federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations of copyright infringement levied against a geoscience data company, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 13 (Geophysical Services Inc. v. TGS Nopec-Geophysical Services, No. 18-20493, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27807).

  • September 13, 2019

    U.S. Government, States Support Georgia In High Court Government Edicts Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government wrote one of the six amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the state of Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 30, urging the high court to find that annotations accompanying written versions of state laws are not exempt from copyright protection under the government edicts doctrine because they were written by a private company, not the government (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 11, 2019

    Permanent Injunction Issued Against VidAngel After Willful Copyright Verdict

    LOS ANGELES — Three months after a jury found that VidAngel Inc.’s online video-filtering service ran afoul of the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), awarding the plaintiff movie studios $62.4 million, a California federal judge on Sept. 5 granted the studios’ motion for a permanent injunction barring the defendant from any further infringing acts (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152395).

  • September 10, 2019

    Rimini Street Again Told To Provide Oracle Post-Injunction Compliance Discovery

    LAS VEGAS — Five months after Oracle USA Inc. was permitted to conduct limited discovery to ensure that Rimini Street Inc. was complying with a permanent injunction against it in a long-running software copyright lawsuit, a Nevada federal magistrate judge on Sept. 6 signed an order setting parameters on that discovery and establishing a schedule for Rimini’s compliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).

  • September 05, 2019

    7th Circuit Warns Copyright Plaintiff Of Potential Sanctions

    CHICAGO — In a Sept. 4 order, a panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals summarily affirmed an Indiana federal judge’s dismissal of allegations of copyright infringement levied against the Indianapolis Public Schools and two co-defendants in connection with their continued use of an educational program (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. Indianapolis Public Schools, et al., No. 18-2349, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26639).