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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.piratebay.org and to pay more than $15 million in damages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.