Mealey's Copyright

  • October 29, 2019

    Copyright Claims Against REI, Chalk Bag Maker Transferred To Idaho

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 25 ordered copyright infringement claims against Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) and a co-defendant transferred to federal court in Idaho but denied outright dismissal of the action out of “deference to the transferee court” (Tony Hong v. Recreational Equipment Inc., et al., No. 19-951, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185371).

  • October 28, 2019

    Judge Dismisses All Claims Accrued Outside Of Relevant Statute Of Limitations

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Oct. 23 granted a recording company’s motion to dismiss all California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims accrued outside the relevant statute of limitations in a copyright infringement dispute but denied the motion as to all other claims (Syl Johnson, et al. v. UMG Recordings Inc., No. 19-02364, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184455).

  • October 25, 2019

    In Massachusetts, Copyright Plaintiff Denied Injunction

    BOSTON — In an Oct. 24 ruling, a federal judge in Massachusetts found that a copyright infringement plaintiff is not entitled to a preliminary injunction because she is unable to demonstrate a risk of irreparable harm if relief is not issued (Leah Bassett v. Monic Jensen, et al., No. 18-10576, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183888).

  • October 23, 2019

    Copyright Counterclaim Survives Motion To Dismiss In Vermont

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont on Oct. 19 allowed a plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss a request for a declaratory judgment of no copyright infringement but denied the plaintiff’s motion to also dismiss a compulsory infringement counterclaim, rejecting the plaintiff’s position that the voluntary dismissal deprives the court of jurisdiction (Exist Inc. v. The Vermont Country Store Inc., No. 19-58, D. Vt., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181409).

  • October 22, 2019

    Production Company Dismissed From Alabama Copyright Case

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Allegations that a production company for the HGTV series “Good Bones” committed copyright infringement were dismissed Oct. 21 by a federal judge in Alabama who found that the company’s contacts with the forum are too “random, fortuitous, or attenuated” to support jurisdiction (Melanie Tolbert v. Discovery Inc., et al., No. 18-680, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181528).

  • October 21, 2019

    9th Circuit Remands For Determination Of Statutory Preemption

    SAN FRANCISCO — A dispute over royalties for various copyrighted musical works was returned Oct. 17 to a California federal district court, when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the recent passage of federal law directly impacts the case (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Pandora Media LLC, No. 15-55287, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30939).

  • October 18, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Says Copyright Case Not Unreasonable

    NEW YORK — In an Oct. 15 ruling, a federal judge in New York concluded that neither a plaintiff nor a defendant embroiled in a copyright dispute over the “Sonic the Hedgehog” comic book series is entitled to an award of attorney fees (Narrative Ark Entertainment LLC v. Archie Comic Publications Inc., No. 16-6109, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178249).

  • October 17, 2019

    In Supplemental Brief, Google Defends Certiorari Bid In Java Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to an amicus curiae brief filed by the U.S. government, Google LLC filed a supplemental brief in support of its petition for certiorari on Oct. 16, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that its presented questions regarding the copyrightability of software interfaces are of “breathtaking importance” to the practice of reimplementation that is vital to the software industry (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 17, 2019

    ACLU, Professors, Others File Amicus Briefs In High Court Government Edicts Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Civil Liberties Union and two groups of professors filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16, bringing the tally to 13 for briefs filed in support of the respondent’s position that the government edicts doctrine renders annotations accompanying written copies of public laws uncopyrightable (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 15, 2019

    Record Labels Told To Supplement Filings In Remanded Vimeo Copyright Suit

    NEW YORK — More than three years after the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly reversed a trial court’s ruling in favor of an online video-sharing service provider in a copyright infringement suit against it, a New York federal judge on Oct. 4 directed the plaintiff record labels to supplement and clarify their submitted evidence supporting assertions that employees of Vimeo LLC had “red flag knowledge” that certain user-submitted videos were infringing (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 1:09-cv-10101 and -10105, S.D. N.Y.).

  • October 08, 2019

    6th Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment On Copyright Claim

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 vacated a Michigan federal judge’s grant of summary judgment that two defendants are not liable for copyright infringement because the copyrights at issue were not unambiguously transferred in a 2013 asset sale (Evoqua Water Technologies LLC v. M.W. Watermark LLC, et al., Nos. 18-2397, 18-2398, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30023).

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Denies Copyright Volitional Conduct Petition Over Online Photo Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 declined to consider three questions over the role that volitional conduct plays in copyright infringement, denying a petition for certiorari by a real estate photography firm, which sued Zillow Inc. for its purportedly infringing use of certain photographs in its online listings that the petitioner said Zillow had the ability to control (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 18-1540, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 03, 2019

    In New York, VARA Claim Survives But Copyright Claim Tossed

    NEW YORK — Allegations by an artist that two individual defendants falsely attributed her name as the creator of an oil painting will proceed in New York federal court, according to an Oct. 2 ruling (Annamarie Trombetta v. Marie Novocin, et al., No. 18-993, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171228).

  • October 03, 2019

    Solicitor General Counsels Against Certiorari In Google, Oracle Java Copyright Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Opining that lines of Java computer code copied by Google LLC constituted protectable expressive content, Solicitor General (SG) Noel J. Francisco, in a Sept. 27 amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of the U.S. government, asserts that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly ruled in favor of Oracle America Inc. in a long-running copyright dispute, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court deny Google’s petition for certiorari (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 01, 2019

    Federal Judge Reconsiders Ruling In Coverage Suit Over Copyright Infringement Claims

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 27 entered judgment in favor of general and excess liability insurers one day after granting their motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that they had a duty to defend their insured against an underlying copyright infringement suit, finding that they had no duty to defend (Jovani Fashion, Ltd. v. Federal Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-4518, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165898).

  • September 30, 2019

    Prevailing Copyright Infringement Defendant Denied Fees In New York

    NEW YORK — Just over one year after winning a summary judgment that their display of 116 thumbnail versions of photographs taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson qualified as a fair use, two art galleries were denied an award of attorney fees on Sept. 26 by a federal judge in New York (Magnum Photos International Inc. v. Houk Gallery Inc., et al., No. 16-7030, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165852).

  • September 30, 2019

    $62.4 Million Judgment Issued Against VidAngel In Studios’ Copyright Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Sept. 23 issued judgment against VidAngel Inc., in accordance with a $62.4 million jury verdict that penalized the online video-filtering service provider for violating the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) via its services (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 27, 2019

    North Carolina Says Copyright Statute Does Not Abrogate State Sovereign Immunity

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA) does not abrogate states’ sovereign immunity, North Carolina argues to the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 20 brief, asking the high court to find that the statute is unconstitutional and that its enactment “was not a valid exercise of Congress’s enumerated powers (Frederick L. Allen, et al. v. Roy A. Cooper III, et al., No. 18-877, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 27, 2019

    In Ohio, Copyright Claims Over House Design Survive Dismissal

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A couple and their homebuilder won dismissal Sept. 24 of allegations of unfair competition but will face copyright claims levied in connection with their home design, a federal judge in Ohio ruled (W.H. Midwest LLC v. A.D. Baker Homes, No. 18-1387, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163108).

  • September 23, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Tosses Copyright Claims Against CBS, Netflix

    NEW YORK — Allegations that CBS Broadcasting Inc., Netflix Inc. and others copied the concept behind an unreleased science fiction videogame for incorporation into “Star Trek: Discovery” fail as a matter of law, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 20 (Anas Osama Ibrahim Abdin v. CBS Broadcasting Inc., et al., No. 18-7543, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161153).

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