Mealey's Copyright

  • April 08, 2022

    Former Beach Boy’s Putative Foreign Streaming Royalties Class Action Dismissed

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 6 granted a motion to dismiss without leave to amend a lawsuit filed by a former member of The Beach Boys who accused two music companies of fraud and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) on behalf of a putative class that was allegedly deprived of digital streaming royalties from foreign markets.

  • April 07, 2022

    Copyright Claims Against Amazon, Sony, Others Survive Dismissal Bid

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 31 denied a request to dismiss allegations that the copyrighted vocal arrangements for “Smokey Joe’s Café” were infringed by various defendants who streamed live performances of the Broadway musical.

  • April 04, 2022

    D.C. Federal Judge Won’t Block Publication Of Industry Standards

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a March 31 ruling, a District of Columbia federal judge said that the online publication of industry standards already incorporated into law qualifies as a fair use and that an injunction barring publication of unincorporated standards is not warranted “in light of the meager evidence of irreparable harm and the possibility that these standards will be incorporated into law at a later date.”

  • April 01, 2022

    Infringement, Antitrust Claims Dismissed Against YouTube In Filmmaker’s Piracy Suit

    MIAMI — Granting in part a motion by YouTube Inc. to dismiss claims filed against it by a Spanish-language filmmaker related to the unauthorized posting of his works on YouTube, a Florida federal judge on March 29 found that the plaintiff did not sufficiently state his Sherman Act tying claim, while concluding that some of the copyright infringement claims are time-barred.

  • March 31, 2022

    Labels, Publishers Waive Response To Petition Over Songs’ Substantial Similarity

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  — A group of record labels and music publishers filed a notice of waiver in the U.S. Supreme Court on March 28, opting to not respond to a petition for certiorari in which a copyright holder, which sued over alleged infringement by the song “You Raise Me Up,” asks the high court to consider the proper standard for determining substantial similarity between two musical works.

  • March 31, 2022

    DOJ Tells D.C. Circuit DMCA Restricts Conduct, Not Freedom Of Speech

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Countering two technologists’ arguments in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the anti-circumvention measures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) restrict their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Department of Justice argues in a March 28 brief, representing several federal governmental appellees, that the statute’s focus is on restricting actions, not speech, while protecting digital copyrighted works.

  • March 30, 2022

    2nd Circuit Upholds Fair Use Finding, Fee Denial In Copyright Row

    NEW YORK — A series of judgments and determinations by a federal judge in New York were affirmed March 29 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a dispute over a photograph of a New York finance executive.

  • March 29, 2022

    Damages And Injunction Awarded In Florida Copyright, Trademark Row

    MIAMI — In a March 28 final default judgment and permanent injunction, a federal judge in Florida ordered a virtual private network (VPN) to block its end users from accessing various foreign piracy websites including and to pay more than $15 million in damages.

  • March 28, 2022

    Supreme Court Passes On Longstanding ‘Game Of Life’ Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its March 28 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will not review a determination by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a party that commissions a work from an independent contractor qualifies as an “employer” within the meaning of the work-for-hire provision of the Copyright Act of 1909.

  • March 28, 2022

    High Court Persuaded To Take Up Warhol Fair Use, Free Speech Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A ruling by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a series of Andy Warhol’s works do not qualify as a fair use of a photograph of the late musician Prince will be reviewed at an upcoming term, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated in its March 28 orders list.

  • March 21, 2022

    Certiorari Denied In Takings Clause, Copyright Dispute Over Online Photo Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its March 21 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to address whether its recent ruling in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid had any bearing on a photographer’s claim that the University of Houston’s unauthorized online use of its copyrighted photo constituted a governmental taking, thus denying the petition for certiorari in which the photographer requested a grant, remand, vacate (GVR) order for the Texas Supreme Court to reconsider the matter.

  • March 17, 2022

    California Federal Judge Rejects Jurisdictional Challenge In Copyright Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — Contrary to the position taken by a defendant accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the underlying dispute is not based in contract, a federal judge in California ruled March 15.

  • March 17, 2022

    Petitioner Seeks High Court’s Input On Work For Hire In ‘Game Of Life’ Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representing that the federal circuit courts of appeal are applying the work-for-hire doctrine inconsistently in copyright infringement lawsuits, a company that was involved in the development of the classic Milton Bradley (MB) board game “The Game of Life” filed a reply supporting its petition for certiorari on March 8, asserting that its presented question about the definition of “employer” under the doctrine “will have recurring significance for creators and those who hire them for decades to come.”

  • March 17, 2022

    Real Estate Brokers To High Court: Floor Plans Do Not Infringe Home Designs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two real estate brokerage firms filed a petition for certiorari on March 4, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to find that floor plan drawings they made of two homes constitute “pictorial representations” under the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA) and, thus, are exempt from findings of copyright infringement, contrary to a ruling by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • March 16, 2022

    ISP Seeks To Compel Labels To Provide Investigator’s Source Code In Copyright Row

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In reply briefs filed Feb. 2 and 9 in Virginia federal court, internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc. supports its motions for relief from a $1 billion judgment over its subscribers’ file-sharing activities, seeking discovery of materials revealed in a similar case against another ISP that it says bear directly on the plaintiff record labels’ claims against it.

  • March 14, 2022

    9th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Against Paramount

    SAN FRANCISCO — Upon de novo review, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 said a California federal judge did not err in dismissing allegations of copyright infringement leveled by the author of the unpublished screenplay “What the F is He Thinking” (WTF).

  • March 14, 2022

    Pop Singer Again Prevails On Copyright Claims By Hip-Hop Artists

    SAN FRANCISCO — Katy Perry was properly awarded judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on allegations that her song “Dark Horse” infringed a copyrighted ostinato, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 10.

  • March 14, 2022

    Panel: Breach, Unfair Competition Claims Are Preempted By Copyright Act

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York properly concluded that copyright law precludes allegations by a website owner of breach of contract and unfair competition against Google LLC and others, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 10.

  • March 14, 2022

    1st Circuit: Repost Of Copyrighted Communication Qualifies As Fair Use

    BOSTON — In a March 10 ruling, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of allegations of copyright infringement leveled in connection with the reposting of a Massachusetts man’s online comments in a different forum.

  • March 10, 2022

    Freelance Photographers’ Copyright Case Stayed By New York Federal Judge

    NEW YORK — In a March 1 holding, a federal judge in New York agreed with Thomas Reuters America Corp. and other copyright infringement defendants that their dispute with a group of freelance photographers should be stayed until the photographers’ arbitration against their licensing agency is resolved.

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