Mealey's Copyright

  • July 06, 2022

    3rd Circuit Vacates Relief, Orders Dismissal Of Copyright Claims

    PHILADELPHIA — A copyright on a communication protocol used to control fireworks displays is invalid, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 29, vacating a Pennsylvania federal judge’s preliminary injunction in an infringement action.

  • June 29, 2022

    Noninfringement, Expert Disqualification Argued In 6th Circuit Source Code Suit

    CINCINNATI — In briefs filed June 8 and 9, the appellees in a copyright infringement suit over computer source code ask the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a trial court’s noninfringement judgment and its disqualification of the appellant’s expert, arguing that the lower court properly employed the doctrines of merger and scènes à faire and correctly found that the appellant failed to comply with the court’s expert report deadlines.

  • June 29, 2022

    Writer Asks High Court To Clarify Copyright Substantial Similarity Standard

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Contending that the Paramount Pictures Corp. film “What Men Want” (WMW) infringed the copyright in his screenplay “What the F Is He Thinking?” (WTF), a screenwriter on May 31 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to provide guidance on how courts should consider the arrangement of protected and unprotected elements when considering whether two works are substantially similar.

  • June 29, 2022

    Judge Quashes Subpoena Requiring Twitter To Identify Anonymous Tweeter

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A company seeking to compel Twitter Inc. to provide identifying information about an anonymous social network user failed to demonstrate that the user’s posting of six copyrighted photos as part of an apparent societal commentary did not constitute fair use, a California federal judge ruled June 21, concluding that the movant did not establish a prima facie case of copyright infringement sufficient to outweigh the Twitter user’s right to speak anonymously under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • June 27, 2022

    Unfair Competition, DMCA Claims Tossed By Florida Federal Judge

    TAMPA, Fla. — Allegations of federal unfair competition, common-law trademark infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were dismissed without prejudice on June 23 by a Florida federal judge, who found that a plaintiff is unable to show that the state’s long-arm statute applies to a resident of Mexico.

  • June 27, 2022

    High Court Shoots Down Cert Petition In Copyright Dispute Over Floor Plans

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Supreme Court in its June 27 order list said it will not review the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA) in a loss for a group of real estate brokerage firms and agents.

  • June 22, 2022

    7th Circuit Agrees:  No Meaningful Difference In 2 Copyright Cases

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 found no error in an Illinois federal judge’s determination that a plaintiff’s second copyright infringement lawsuit against Home Box Office Inc. is identical to a previously dismissed state law copyright case against the network and is thus barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion.

  • June 16, 2022

    Warhol Foundation Asks High Court To Clarify Transformative Standard For Fair Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that Andy Warhol’s “Prince Series” of pictures of the deceased musician infringed the original copyrighted photo on which the series was based reflects a “similarity” fair use standard, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. (AWF) tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its June 10 opening merits brief, asking the high court to affirm the long-held transformative standard for determining fair use.

  • June 16, 2022

    Maryland Federal Judge Says E-Book Law Preempted By Copyright

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland statute that would require publishers to offer libraries a license to e-books and audiobooks on “reasonable terms” that are also made available to the public is invalid, a federal judge in Maryland ruled June 13.

  • June 15, 2022

    New York Federal Judge: Pic From Film Set Is A Derivative Work

    NEW YORK — The managing member of the company that produced “Mafietta” was barred from seeking copyright protection for a photograph she took on the set of the film, when a federal judge in New York on June 13 instead ruled that the image belongs to the author of the novella upon which the film is based.

  • June 13, 2022

    Zillow Tells 9th Circuit Infringing Photos Were A Single Compilation

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court’s finding of willful copyright infringement and its issuance of a $1,927,200 damages award cannot stand, Zillow Group Inc. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its May 31 opening appellant brief, in light of the requirement of Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC that a work be registered prior to initiating infringement litigation.

  • June 14, 2022

    In Utah Federal Copyright Case, Claim-Splitting Doctrine Doesn’t Apply

    SALT LAKE CITY — A motion to dismiss copyright infringement allegations on grounds of claim-splitting failed June 9, when a federal judge in Utah instead ruled the case should proceed.

  • June 13, 2022

    North Carolina Federal Judge Issues $335,000 Sanction In Trademark, Copyright Case

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. — In an order issued June 9, a federal judge in North Carolina said a copyright and trademark infringement defendant’s repeated defiance of an injunction justifies an award of $335,000 in sanctions.

  • June 13, 2022

    2nd Circuit: Copyright Dispute Over Bikini Design Time-Barred

    NEW YORK — In a May 31 summary order, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a New York federal judge’s determination that a copyright infringement plaintiff was on notice of a dispute over ownership in 2015 more than three years before filing an amended complaint.

  • June 10, 2022

    California Federal Judge Reconsiders Causal Nexus Summary Judgment Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — A denial of a motion for summary judgment that asserted that an infringement plaintiff could not demonstrate a causal nexus between the alleged copyright infringement and the profits for two films was in error, a federal judge in California ruled June 8.

  • June 09, 2022

    Panel Upholds Summary Judgment In ‘Shawty So Cold’ Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 7 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said a California federal judge did not err in granting Sony Music Entertainment and two defendants summary judgment on allegations that they infringed the sound recording and musical composition copyright to the beat track “Shawty So Cold.”

  • June 09, 2022

    Parties Spar Over Copyright Protection For Floor Plans In High Court Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA) is “indefensible,” a group of real estate brokerage firms and agents tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a June 8 reply brief supporting their petition for certiorari in which they ask the high court to provide guidance on whether floor plans constitute protectable items under the statute.

  • June 08, 2022

    Federal Magistrate Judge In Tennessee: Copyright Plaintiff Entitled To Fees

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Although recommending a reduction in the amount requested, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee on June 6 said a prevailing copyright infringement plaintiff is entitled to reimbursement of her attorney fees in a dispute over dog breed illustrations.

  • May 24, 2022

    Expert Who Conducted Survey On Reasons For Game Purchase Can Testify, Judge Says

    CLEVELAND — An Ohio federal judge on May 20 denied a man’s motion to exclude a video game company’s expert witness who conducted a survey on why consumers purchased a video game that the man alleges contains his copyrighted materials, finding that his objections are best resolved through cross-examination.

  • May 20, 2022

    Panel Affirms Relief, Says THC-Containing Products Aren’t Illegal

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 upheld a preliminary injunction barring the sale of allegedly counterfeit e-cigarette and vaping products, rejecting a copyright infringement and unfair competition defendant’s claim that certain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products cannot be trademarked or copyrighted because THC is unlawful under federal law.

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