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).
NEW YORK — A company that owns an interest in Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit song “Let’s Get It On” tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Aug. 30 appeal brief that a trial court judge erred in declining to permit it to intervene in a copyright infringement suit against pop singer Ed Sheeran brought by other owners of the song’s songwriting interests (Kathryn Townsend Griffin, et al. v. Edward Christopher Sheeran, et al., No. 18-1862, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The provider of an online news-monitoring service tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 12 petition for certiorari that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals applied an incorrect market harm standard in denying its fair-use defense on copyright infringement claims brought by Fox News Network LLC, asking the high court to consider existing standards in light of contemporary digital technology and free speech ramifications (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 18-321, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge’s dismissal of copyright infringement claims levied against the National Football League and the Associated Press was vacated, in part, on Sept. 11 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that certain allegations by seven sports photographers are viable (Paul Spinelli, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 17-673, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25670).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Four days before a scheduled retrial over an internet service provider’s (ISP’s) liability for contributory infringement related to its subscribers’ illegal file sharing, the ISP and the plaintiff filed a notice Aug. 24 informing a Virginia federal court that the four-year old copyright infringement lawsuit had been voluntarily dismissed (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01611, E.D. Va.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An adult entertainment company filed a petition for certiorari Aug. 20, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that courts’ interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have allowed video-sharing websites to escape liability for massive amounts of infringing user-uploaded content under business models that encourage such behavior and asking the high court to review the standard for when a website operator has knowledge of infringement and when they are entitled to safe harbor under the statute (Ventura Content Ltd. v. Motherless Inc., et al., No. 18-235, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 14 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, a software support service argues that a trial court’s award of nontaxable costs to Oracle USA Inc. in a dispute over software licenses runs counter to the Copyright Act’s provisions and deepens an existing circuit split on the matter (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Aug. 27 opening merits brief, a news organization tells the U.S. Supreme Court that initiating a copyright infringement suit requires only that a plaintiff has completed the statutory registration requirements, not the final issuance of a copyright by the U.S. Copyright Office (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 28 per curiam ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied without comment Google LLC’s petition to rehear a March 2018 panel decision finding that Google’s use of certain Java code in creating its Android smartphone operating system was not fair use and infringed copyrights belonging to Oracle America Inc. (Oracle America Inc. v. Google LLC, Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).
NEW YORK — In an Aug. 24 per curiam ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a New York federal judge’s dismissal of federal copyright infringement claims stemming from the book “Tied Up in Knots” on grounds of failure to state a claim and diversity jurisdiction (Michael Krechmer v. Andrea Tantaros, et al., No. 17-4061, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23956).
NEW YORK — In an Aug. 23 per curiam ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that allegations of copyright infringement by an Italian music publisher were properly rejected by a New York federal judge (Creazioni Artistiche Musicali, S.r.l. v. Carlin America Inc. et al., No. 17-266, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23765).
SAN FRANCISCO — A video-filtering service provider failed to establish its counterclaims under the Sherman Act or California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against the studios suing it for copyright infringement, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 17, affirming a trial court’s dismissal of the counterclaims (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 17-56665, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22986).
DETROIT — On remand from the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Michigan federal judge on Aug. 21 again found that a John Doe copyright infringement defendant should not be unmasked (Signature Management Team LLC v. John Doe, No. 13-14005, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141459).
SAN FRANCISCO — A grant of summary judgment in favor of two defendants accused of violating state law protections for sound recordings originally fixed before 1972 was reversed Aug. 20 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found — among other things — that the remastered recordings do not qualify as derivative works and that a California local rule for class action certification conflicts with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (ABS Entertainment Inc., et al. v. CBS Corporation, et al., No. 16-55917, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23097).
LAS VEGAS — Rimini Street Inc. on Aug. 16 sought an emergency stay of a Nevada federal judge’s order two days earlier that permanently enjoined the software support firm from preparing or distributing derivative works based upon Oracle USA Inc.’s copyrighted software and awarded Oracle $28.5 million in attorney fees (Oracle USA Inc. v. Rimini Street Inc., No. 10-106, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137311).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly found that it was entitled to an award of nontaxable costs in a software copyright infringement suit, Oracle USA Inc. tells the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 1 brief opposing a software support firm’s petition for certiorari, citing the Copyright Act’s provision for a discretionary award of “all costs” to a prevailing party (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an Aug. 1 per curiam holding, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that although a pro se copyright infringement plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to withstand a motion to dismiss, a California federal judge abused his discretion by denying leave to amend (Jon Astor-White v. Daniel William Strong, et al., No. 16-55565, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21359).
ST. LOUIS — In an Aug. 9 holding, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal on copyright preemption grounds of trade dress and tortious interference claims levied in a dispute over a light installation, but found that a proposed, amended trademark infringement claim should be allowed to proceed (Bruce Munro, et al. v. Lucy Activewear Inc., et al., No. 16-4483, 8th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Although denying panel rehearing or rehearing en banc, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 amended its June ruling in favor of a software provider to further clarify the pleading standards for a plaintiff asserting violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21732.).
NEW YORK — Although finding that the heirs of photographer Bert Stern are the rightful owners of images taken of Marilyn Monroe shortly before her death, a New York federal judge on June 20 found that genuine disputes of material fact preclude summary judgment in favor of the heirs on their allegations of copyright infringement and false and misleading representations (Shannah Laumeister Stern, et al. v. Lisa Lavender, et al., No. 16-9886, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121405).