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.).
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.).
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).
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).
CINCINNATI — In a divided Sept. 17 holding, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Tennessee federal judge’s summary judgment that musician Steve Winwood and others did not infringe a copyright covering the song “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” (Willia Dean Parker, et al. v. Steve Winwood, et al., No. 18-5305, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27902).
NEW YORK — In a Sept. 13 holding a federal judge in New York rejected allegations that E*Trade Financial Corp. infringed copyrighted elements of various videos produced and owned by an Italian entrepreneur (Gianluca Vacchi v. E*Trade Financial Corporation, No. 19-3505, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156972).
NEW ORLEANS — A Texas federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations of copyright infringement levied against a geoscience data company, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 13 (Geophysical Services Inc. v. TGS Nopec-Geophysical Services, No. 18-20493, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27807).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government wrote one of the six amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the state of Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 30, urging the high court to find that annotations accompanying written versions of state laws are not exempt from copyright protection under the government edicts doctrine because they were written by a private company, not the government (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — Three months after a jury found that VidAngel Inc.’s online video-filtering service ran afoul of the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), awarding the plaintiff movie studios $62.4 million, a California federal judge on Sept. 5 granted the studios’ motion for a permanent injunction barring the defendant from any further infringing acts (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152395).
LAS VEGAS — Five months after Oracle USA Inc. was permitted to conduct limited discovery to ensure that Rimini Street Inc. was complying with a permanent injunction against it in a long-running software copyright lawsuit, a Nevada federal magistrate judge on Sept. 6 signed an order setting parameters on that discovery and establishing a schedule for Rimini’s compliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).
CHICAGO — In a Sept. 4 order, a panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals summarily affirmed an Indiana federal judge’s dismissal of allegations of copyright infringement levied against the Indianapolis Public Schools and two co-defendants in connection with their continued use of an educational program (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. Indianapolis Public Schools, et al., No. 18-2349, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26639).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York did not err in rejecting allegations by a professional photographer that Scholastic Inc. exceeded the terms of its license with a stock photography agency when using his works in its textbooks, nor in denying the photographer leave to amend on grounds of futility, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 28 (Michael Yamashita, et al. v. Scholastic Inc., No. 17‐1957, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25958).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 26 held that a commercial general liability insurance policy’s intellectual property (IP) exclusion bars coverage for an underlying copyright infringement lawsuit against an insured, rejecting the insured’s argument that the exclusion’s “advertising exception” applies (Spandex House, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 18-8367, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144646).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Filing its opening merits brief in a dispute over whether annotations accompanying published versions of state laws are copyrightable, the state of Georgia on Aug. 23 argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that because the annotations are distinct from the laws themselves, and as such lack the force of law, they are not rendered ineligible for copyright protection under the government edicts doctrine (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO — In what it deemed a question of first impression, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 21 found that a Wisconsin federal judge erred in permitting separate awards of statutory damages for works that yielded two certificates of registration from the U.S. Copyright Office (Amy Lee Sullivan v. Flora Inc., Nos. 17-2241 & 18-2534, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24928).
CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 affirmed dismissal of an unpleaded copyright infringement claim against the publisher of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, based upon a plaintiff’s failure to obtain a copyright registration (Eva A. Webb Wright v. Penguin Random House, No. 18-6323, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24896).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 reversed a New York federal judge’s holding that a composer’s authorship rights were extinguished by a series of commissioning agreements he entered into with an affiliate of an assignee (Ennio Morricone Music Inc. v. Bixio Music Group Ltd., No. 17-3595, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24880).
DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Aug. 20 found that the Rogers v. Grimaldi test “needs adapting” in view of “legitimate considerations brought out in subsequent cases” in which an alleged infringer claims a First Amendment right to use a disputed trademark (Marty Stouffer, et al. v. National Geographic Partners LLC, et al., No. 18-3127, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140947).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 16 upheld a trial court’s decision on remand to maintain a $28.5 million attorney fees award for Oracle USA Inc. in a long-running software license copyright infringement suit against Rimini Street Inc., finding no abuse of discretion in the ruling (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 18-16554, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — Allegations that Walt Disney Pictures and others committed copyright infringement by copying elements of a screenplay for use in the animated film “Zootopia” were rejected Aug. 19 by a federal judge in California (Brian Neil Hoff v. Walt Disney Pictures, et al., No. 19-665, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140343).