WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge’s determination that a willful copyright infringer should reimburse a plaintiff $794,203.42 in attorney fees was not an abuse of discretion, the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 27 (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska, No. 18-7050, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33303).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A church accused of copyright infringement succeeded Nov. 21 in persuading an Ohio federal judge to disqualify counsel for a plaintiff, based upon the attorney’s previous provision of legal advice to the church in intellectual property-related matters (Judith Schlueter v. Bethesda Healing Ministry Inc., No. 17-1055, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198342).
PHILADELPHIA — In a divided Nov. 21 ruling, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that although two copyright infringement plaintiffs are not bound by a forum-selection clause and that a Pennsylvania federal judge “got it wrong” when transferring one of the cases to New York, mandamus is an “extraordinary remedy” not warranted on the facts of the instant cases (In re: McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings LLC, Nos. 17-2826, 17-3444, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32931).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A news organization in its Nov. 13 merits reply brief tells the U.S. Supreme Court that the Copyright Act permits a copyright owner to sue for infringement after it has applied for a copyright without requiring it to wait until registration has been granted by the U.S. Copyright Office, asserting that finding otherwise would be inconsistent with the statute’s wording and would create barriers to owners’ efforts to protect their works (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — On Oct. 31, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a modified ruling in a dispute over copyright protection for digitally remastered sound recordings originally fixed before 1972, removing language relating to preemption and derivative works while adding an observation that the recently enacted Music Modernization Act (MMA) preempts state law claims for digital transmissions of pre-1972 sound recordings (ABS Entertainment Inc., et al. v. CBS Corporation, et al., No. 16-55917, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30808).
NEW YORK — A June 2018 ruling that revived plaintiffs’ claims of authorship and ownership of the renewal term copyrights in the 1973 song “Sho’ Nuff” will not be revisited, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals revealed Nov. 14 (John Wilson, et al. v. Dynatone Publishing Co., et al., No. 17-1549, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32202).
CHICAGO — In a Nov. 14 ruling, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed an Indiana federal judge’s decision to order monetary sanctions against an attorney who moved for an award of fees following a settlement of copyright infringement allegations (Richard N. Bell v. Vacuforce LLC, Nos. 18-1159, 1368, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32196).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A trial court erred in awarding Oracle USA Inc. nontaxable costs in a copyright infringement lawsuit, a software support company argues in its Nov. 13 merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, stating that the guidelines of the Fee Act do not permit such an award (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).
SALT LAKE CITY — Granting a movie production company’s motion for default judgment, a Utah federal judge on Nov. 8 found that seven Doe defendants’ failure to respond to copyright infringement claims against them related to the online peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing of a motion picture merited the requested judgment; however, she reduced the requested statutory award from $10,000 to $1,500 per defendant (Bodyguard Productions Inc. v. Does 1-25, No. 2:18-cv-00026, D. Utah, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192234).
DETROIT — In a Nov. 8 holding, a Michigan federal judge granted three defendants summary judgment because the manufacture of a machine from a copyrighted technical drawing cannot form the basis of an infringement action (RJ Control Consultants Inc., et al. v. Multiject LLC, et al., No. 16-10728, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191187).
CINCINNATI — In a Nov. 7 order, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a petition for permission to directly appeal a bankruptcy court’s refusal to give preclusive effect to an underlying copyright infringement judgment against a debtor (In re: MarketGraphics Research Group, No. 18-503, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31633).
CHICAGO — Allegations of copyright infringement and breach of contract by a photographer in connection with a gallery’s display of his work in 2013 will proceed, in part, an Illinois federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 6 (Stanley Rosenstock v. Annette E. Sollars, No. 18-4554, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189508).
SAN FRANCISCO — An amended trademark and copyright infringement complaint, filed in response to a previous order that granted dismissal without prejudice, insufficiently pleads the existence of personal jurisdiction over a Hawaii corporation, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 31 (Pacific Overlander LLC v. Kauai Overlander LLP, No. 18-2142, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186719).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Oct. 26 denied a request by an attorney that she redact a February decision that referred to the attorney as a “copyright troll” (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184049).
ATLANTA — A dismissal, on grounds of lacking subject matter jurisdiction, of a declaratory judgment action involving a legal research service’s right to publish the Georgia Administrative Rules and Regulations was erroneous, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 29 (Fastcase Inc. v. Lawriter LLC, No. 17-14110, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30526).
NEW YORK — In its second ruling in a copyright dispute over a short film, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 directed a New York federal judge to reassess a plaintiff’s request for reimbursement of its attorney fees, upon finding that such an award may still be appropriate (16 Casa Duse LLC v. Alex Merkin and Maurice Reichman, No. 17-625, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30190).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 29 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an adult entertainment company’s petition for certiorari regarding the safe-harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which the petitioner said allowed video-sharing websites to evade copyright infringement liability for massive amounts of copyrighted material knowingly uploaded by third parties (Ventura Content Ltd. v. Motherless Inc., et al., No. 18-235, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 6429).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Oct. 24 denied as premature a motion by Kendrick Lamar to bar a copyright infringement plaintiff from recovering profits received from the single “All the Stars” or the album “Black Panther” (Lina Iris Viktor v. Kendrick Lamar, et al., No. 19-1554, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182541).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly found that an online media-monitoring service’s copying and redistribution of Fox News Network LLC’s programs was not fair use under the Copyright Act, Fox argues in an Oct. 24 brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, opposing the service’s petition for certiorari on questions of transformative use and market harm (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 18-321, U.S. Sup.).
ATLANTA — In an Oct. 19 ruling, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that “no valid copyright interest can be asserted in any part” of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) because “the People are the owners of these works,” which are thus “intrinsically public domain material” (Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org, No. 17-11589, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29511).