Mealey's Copyright

  • September 20, 2017

    Scholastic Wins Transfer Of Copyright Action To New York Federal Court

    TRENTON, N.J. — Allegations that Scholastic Inc. exceeded the terms of a limited license to use a plaintiff’s copyrighted photographs in its publications will proceed in New York federal court in light of Scholastic’s forum-selection clause with a stock photography agency, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 15 (George Steinmetz v. Scholastic Inc., No. 16-3585, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149952).

  • September 19, 2017

    New York Federal Judge Denies UMG’s Motion To Dismiss Copyright Claim

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Assertions by defendant Universal Music Group (UMG) Inc. that a copyright infringement action should be dismissed on jurisdiction grounds or for failure to state a claim were rejected as “legally insufficient” by a New York federal judge on Sept. 17 (Hypefortype Ltd v. Universal Music Group Inc., No. 17-4468, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150500).

  • September 15, 2017

    Opposing Certiorari, Film Parties Call Screenplay Copyright Suit ‘Unremarkable’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ summary affirming of a trial court’s dismissal of a screenplay owner’s copyright infringement suit against parties connected with the movie “Walk of Shame” was unremarkable and presents no issues meriting review, the defendants tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 1 brief opposing certiorari (Shame On You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 17-180, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 14, 2017

    With Similarity Lacking, California Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright Case

    LOS ANGELES — Allegations that the sponsor of a screenwriting contest misappropriated one of the submissions for use in the hit ABC sitcom “Black-ish” were rejected Sept. 13 by a California federal judge, who found no similarity between the sitcom and the submission as required to maintain a claim of copyright infringement (David Lloyd Marcus v. ABC Signature Studios Inc., et al., No. 17-148, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148568).

  • September 13, 2017

    9th Circuit’s Bar On Expert Testimony In Copyright Cases Before High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The creator of the popular John Madden Football series computer game asked the U.S. Supreme Court on July 28 to decide whether expert testimony should be barred in copyright infringement cases because juries must assess infringement as an “ordinary reasonable person” would (Robin Antonick v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 17-168, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2633).

  • September 8, 2017

    Illinois Federal Judge: Copyright Dispute Over Updated Manual Can Proceed

    CHICAGO — In a Sept. 6 order, an Illinois federal judge deemed allegations by a not-for-profit corporation that a defendant infringed a copyrighted accreditation manual adequately pleaded to survive a motion to dismiss (The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations v. Fortis Business Media LLC, No. 16-4724, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144217).

  • September 7, 2017

    Adult Website Operator Tells High Court Usenet Provider Vicariously Infringed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 30 petition for certiorari, the operator of an adult website asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the standards for determining vicarious copyright infringement liability, arguing that in finding a usenet provider not vicariously liable for displaying the copyrighted images of Perfect 10 Inc., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals relied on incorrect guidelines for infringers’ profits and automated processes (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 17-320, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 1, 2017

    ISP, Music Publisher Debate Dismissal Of Copyright Declaratory Suit In 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — In briefs filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an internet service provider (ISP) and a music-publishing firm argue over whether a trial court properly dismissed the ISP’s declaratory judgment action related to claims of online infringement of the firm’s copyrighted songs by the ISP’s customers (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al., No. 17-1515, 2nd Cir.).

  • September 1, 2017

    Pillowcase Maker Tells High Court Amazon Is Liable For Selling Infringing Goods

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Appealing rulings in favor of Amazon.com Inc. by both a trial court and an appeals court, the maker of a line of children’s pillowcases filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 21, seeking review of the standards for determining when an online retailer is liable for copyright or patent infringement from the sale of third parties’ counterfeit goods (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-287, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 1, 2017

    New York Federal Judge Grants Request For Dismissal Of Software Copyright Case

    NEW YORK — Allegations that a law firm specializing in real estate and four of its partners infringed copyrighted software were dismissed, with leave to amend, by a New York federal judge on Aug. 30 on grounds that the complaint lacks requisite specificity (Automated Management Systems Inc. v. Rappaport Hertz Cherson Rosenthal, et al., No. 16-4762, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139728).

  • August 30, 2017

    6th Circuit: Dismissal Of Declaratory Judgment Copyright Claim Was Proper

    CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal magistrate judge did not err in dismissing, as redundant, a declaratory judgment counterclaim of noninfringement filed by an alleged downloader of various copyrighted films, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 28 (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16586).

  • August 28, 2017

    Pro Se Plaintiff Defeats Request For Dismissal Of Florida DMCA Claim

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Allegations that a ministry and its minister made knowingly false representations of copyright infringement to YouTube in an effort to take down a plaintiff’s YouTube channel will proceed, a Florida federal judge ruled Aug. 25 (Shirley Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 17-710, M.D. Fla.).

  • August 25, 2017

    9th Circuit Finds VidAngel’s Filtering Service Infringing, Affirms Injunction

    SAN FRANCISCO — Four movie studio plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their copyright infringement claims against a video-streaming service that provides filtered, family-friendly copies of movies, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 24, affirming a preliminary injunction preventing any filtering of the plaintiffs’ works (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16188).

  • August 23, 2017

    Indiana Federal Judge Rejects Copyright Claims Over Pontoon Boat Designs

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In an Aug. 22 ruling, an Indiana federal judge dismissed allegations that a defendant violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 512 et seq., and the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq., when it applied certain graphic designs to pontoon boats because the complaint fails to allege with specificity the nature of the copyrighted work (The Art of Design Inc. v. Pontoon Boat LLC, et al., No. 16-595, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133672).

  • August 22, 2017

    Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Copyright Claims

    CHICAGO — Although granting one defendant’s motion to dismiss allegations of professional negligence as preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 301(a), an Illinois federal judge on Aug. 21 denied another defendant’s request for dismissal of contributory and vicarious infringement claims (UIRC-GSA Holdings Inc. v. William Blair & Company, et al., No. 15-9518, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133287).

  • August 18, 2017

    California Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Criminal Copyright Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations that a defendant gained access to copyrighted electronic design automation (EDA) software through fraud in violation of the Copyright Act are adequately pleaded, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15 in denying a motion to dismiss (Synopsys Inc. v. Ubiquiti Network Inc., et al., No. 17-561, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130070).

  • August 18, 2017

    Screenplay Copyright Owner Asks High Court To Review Selection, Arrangement Test

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Appealing noninfringement rulings by trial and appeals courts, the owner of a screenplay filed a petition for certiorari July 31, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the proper standard for determining substantial similarity between two works when the alleged infringers had access to the purportedly infringed work (Shame On You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 17-180, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 18, 2017

    Oracle To Federal Circuit: Google’s Java Code Copying For Android Wasn’t Fair Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 4 reply brief, Oracle America Inc. calls a fair-use ruling in favor of Google Inc. “an aberration,” telling the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Google copied a substantial amount of its Java code in creating the Android operating system (OP), which competes directly with its Java-based products (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).

  • August 17, 2017

    Amazon Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Claims In Pennsylvania Federal Court

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 16 agreed with Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon Web Services Inc. (moving defendants, collectively) that a pro se plaintiff’s claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act should be dismissed (Gordon Roy Parker v. PayPal Inc., et al., No. 16-4786, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130800).

  • August 10, 2017

    Florida Federal Judge Grants $1.1 Million Fee Award In Copyright Case

    TAMPA, Fla. — On remand from the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Florida federal judge on Aug. 8 found that although the number of hours spent pursuing copyright infringement claims was “excessively high,” a plaintiff was nonetheless entitled to an award of $1.1 million in attorney fees (Yellow Pages Photos Inc. v. Ziplocal LP, et al., No. 12-755, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125028).