TRENTON, N.J. — Efforts by a former Pfizer Inc. affiliate to obtain dismissal of copyright infringement allegations were unsuccessful on Oct. 17, when a New Jersey federal judge instead ruled that the case can proceed (PDS Pathology Data System Ltd. v. Zoetis Inc., No. 16-2072, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178405).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — In a report and recommendation issued Oct. 10, a New York federal magistrate judge found that a jurisdictional challenge to allegations that a defendant improperly sent a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) should be rejected (Shear Mobility LLC v. Maurice Stoll et al., No. 18-163, W.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175521).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Oct. 12 amicus curiae brief, a disparate coalition of interested parties ask the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari to an online content-monitoring service, arguing that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals employed the incorrect fair use standard when granting judgment in favor of Fox News Network LLC in a copyright dispute (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 18-321, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Approval or rejection of a copyright registration by the U.S. Copyright Office is necessary before an infringement suit may be filed, a news website operator argues in an Oct. 11 respondent brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the high court to find that the mere act of filing a registration application is insufficient to permit a party to initiate litigation (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — In an Oct. 8 brief in California federal court, two ticket brokers accused of inappropriately using bots to purchase tickets opposed a motion by Ticketmaster LLC to dismiss their counterclaims against the ticket seller, arguing that the plaintiff has long engaged in a practice of copyright misuse to further its goal of monopolizing the ticket industry (Ticketmaster LLC v. Prestige Entertainment West Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-07232, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Oct. 11 White House ceremony, President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 1551, the Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act (MMA), which will — among other things — compensate artists for digitally downloaded pre-1972 master recordings.
NEW YORK — In an Oct. 4 ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sided with a Spanish-language media firm accused of copyright infringement, finding that summary judgment on behalf of the defendant was properly granted by a New York federal judge (Latin American Music Company Inc., et al. v. Spanish Broadcasting System Inc., No. 17-1953, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28089).
SAN FRANCISCO — Citing a California federal judge’s erroneous and prejudicial jury instructions, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 agreed that a new trial is necessary on allegations that Led Zeppelin copied a fellow rock band’s work when composing and recording “Stairway to Heaven” (Michael Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, et al., No. 16-56287, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27680).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 1 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by the purported owner of a copyrighted software application in a case that sought clarification on the standards for satisfying Section 204(a) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 204(a) (Anthony Johnson v. Storix Inc., No. 17-1503, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five amicus curiae briefs were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 4 supporting a news organization’s argument that a copyright holder can sue for infringement after the copyright registration is filed, rather than having to wait until the certificate of registration issues (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five months after filing a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court over the copyright transfer procedure in Section 204(a) of the Copyright Act, a software developer on Sept. 18 filed a supplemental brief citing subsequent rulings that he contends “show an increasing need to clarify the writing requirements for copyright transfers” (Anthony Johnson v. Storix Inc., No. 17-1503, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Sept. 27 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a dispute that poses the question of whether a prevailing party can be awarded only taxable costs — an issue that has divided the circuit courts of appeal (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).
MILWAUKEE — Efforts by a copyright infringement plaintiff to obtain reconsideration of a June decision that partly denied summary judgment were unsuccessful on Sept. 25, when a Wisconsin federal magistrate judge instead stood by his ruling (Empire Medical Review Services Inc. v. CompuClaim Inc., No. 13-1283, E.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163682).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge’s dismissal of copyright infringement allegations was upheld Sept. 21 by a per curiam Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, amid findings that any similarities between a screenplay and a novel that was later made into a movie are unprotectible ideas, scènes à faire or de minimis (Joseph Nobile v. Margot Louise Watts, et al., No. 17-3752, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27068).
SAN FRANCISCO — An Arizona federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Joe Arpaio on allegations of copyright infringement was affirmed Sept. 21 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (David E. Kelly v. Joe Arpaio, No. 18-15046, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27141).
AUSTIN, Texas — The rules and regulations (R&R) of a real estate listing website contained only a license to use uploaded pictures, not an assignment of rights, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 19, denying a homebuilder’s motion for summary judgment on copyright claims brought against it by a photographer (Alexander Stross v. Eugene Rowehl, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00676, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159846).
CHICAGO — Allegations by two plaintiffs that Turner Broadcasting System Inc. (TBS) and CBS Broadcasting Inc.’s “The Guest Book” comedy series infringes upon a YouTube series were dismissed Sept. 18 by an Illinois federal judge on the basis of insufficient evidence of substantial similarity (Diana Meynart-Hanzel, et al. v. Turner Broadcasting System Inc., et al., No. 17-6308, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158764).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Sept. 18 ruling, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sustained a determination by the Copyright Royalty Board of rates for subscription-based commercial noninteractive webcasters and ad-based commercial noninteractive webcasters for playing recordings over the Internet between 2016 and 2020 under the statutory license provided for in Section 114 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 114(f)(2)(A) (SoundExchange Inc., et al. v. Copyright Royalty Board, No. 16-1159, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26419).
LOS ANGELES — Allegations that the television series “Stalker” infringed upon the copyrighted semiautobiographical work “Book” were rejected Sept. 17 by a California federal judge in response to a motion to dismiss by Warner Bros. Entertainment (Kathryn Evans v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, No. 18-3951, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158338).
PHILADELPHIA — Assertions by an actor and producer that Fox Television and others infringed his copyrighted television pilot with the series “Empire” were properly dismissed for failure to state a claim, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 28 (Clayton Prince Tanksley v. Lee Daniels, et al., No. 17-2023, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24317).