Mealey's Copyright

  • December 16, 2021

    YouTube:  Amended Class Complaint In Copyright Row Still Deficient

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a Dec. 13 motion to dismiss, YouTube LLC says the latest filing in an infringement action by a Grammy-winning composer and musician “flouts” a directive from a California federal judge ordering the plaintiff to identify the copyrighted works at issue while also presenting “a potpourri” of other problems.

  • December 16, 2021

    Amici Urge Supreme Court To Decide ‘Game Of Life’ Copyright Ownership Spat

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four amicus curiae briefs were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 15 supporting the heirs of an independent contractor who headed up creation of the classic Milton Bradley (MB) board game “The Game of Life,” arguing that the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in applying the “instance and expense” test under the Copyright Act of 1909 to a non-employee.

  • December 16, 2021

    In California, Copyright Claims Over ‘Shake It Off’ Will Proceed

    LOS ANGELES — Efforts by Taylor Swift and others to obtain summary judgment on allegations that her hit song “Shake It Off” infringes a copyrighted musical composition were unsuccessful Dec. 9 when a federal judge in California said the defendants’ motion “is really” one for reconsideration of an October 2019 appellate court ruling reinstating the case.

  • December 14, 2021

    Web-Hosting Company Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Infringement Claims

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 13 agreed with a web-hosting company that allegations of contributory copyright infringement fail because a plaintiff is unable to demonstrate that the defendant “acted with culpable intent.”

  • December 14, 2021 Can’t Shake Publicity Claims With Preemption Theory

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Dec. 7 said allegations that violated the publicity rights of an Illinois man are not preempted by federal copyright law because the claims target the nonconsensual use of his name and likeness in advertisements for a paid subscription service.

  • December 13, 2021

    Copyright Dispute Over Meghan Markle Photos Transferred To California

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 10 agreed with two defendants that allegations they willfully infringed copyrighted photographs of Meghan Markle belong in California federal court.

  • December 02, 2021

    Response To Photographer’s Petition Over Copyright, Takings Clause Waived

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The University of Houston System on Nov. 22 filed a waiver in the U.S. Supreme Court of its right to respond to a photographer’s petition for certiorari over whether a copyright constitutes private property and can serve as the basis for a claim for compensation under the takings clause of the Texas Constitution.

  • November 29, 2021

    Google, Lyrics Website Debate Copyright Act Preemption Of Lawsuit In 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — The operator of a song lyrics website and Google LLC participated in oral arguments before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 over whether the website operator’s contractual and unfair competition claims against Google sound in copyright law and, as such, are preempted by and were properly dismissed the Copyright Act.

  • November 19, 2021

    3rd Circuit Denies Facebook’s Rehearing Bid In TV Anchor’s Publicity Rights Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that the Communications Decency Act (CDA) does not shield Facebook Inc. from a news anchor’s right of publicity suit won’t be reconsidered, Judge Thomas M. Hardiman reported in a Nov. 17 ruling, stating that a majority of the circuit court’s judges voted against Facebook’s motion for rehearing en banc.

  • November 18, 2021

    In California Software Copyright Case, TRO, Injunction Both Denied

    SAN DIEGO — Despite finding that a copyright owner enjoys a likelihood of succeeding on his infringement claim against a popular provider of software for activity and participant management, a federal judge in California nonetheless denied a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction request on Nov. 16.

  • November 16, 2021

    Musician’s Discovery Requests Are Irrelevant, Overbroad, YouTube Tells Court

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a Nov. 15 discovery response letter, YouTube LLC calls a copyright infringement plaintiff’s motion to compel two databases a “sweeping, costly, and unjustified discovery campaign” that encompasses “gargantuan data stores containing private information of millions of” users, asking a California federal court to deny the motion in favor of narrower discovery to which the parties had already agreed.

  • November 11, 2021

    Statutory Damages, Fees Unavailable In California Federal Copyright Row

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 9 granted several defendants summary judgment on a request by a virtual prototyping software company for statutory damages and attorney fees in connection with a claim for copyright infringement.

  • November 11, 2021

    ‘Frivolous’ Copyright Case Against Rappers Dismissed By New York Federal Judge

    NEW YORK — A pro se plaintiff saw his Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case dismissed Nov. 9 by a federal judge in New York, on grounds that the action against hip-hop mogul Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, and Robert Williams, a.k.a. Meek Mill, is frivolous.

  • November 11, 2021

    Jury Rejects Copyright, Trademark Claims Over Atari, Pong Graphics

    SAN FRANCISCO — Following a five-day trial and two hours of deliberation, a jury empaneled in California federal court on Nov. 4 sided with a “print-on-demand” online business accused of infringing Atari Interactive Inc. copyrights and trademarks.

  • November 10, 2021

    Texas Federal Magistrate: Strike Laches Defense To Copyright Claim

    AUSTIN, Texas — Although agreeing with a copyright owner that two infringement defendants’ affirmative defense of laches is barred by Petrella v. MGM, a federal magistrate judge in Texas on Nov. 8 recommended that no other defense asserted in the case be stricken at this time.

  • November 09, 2021

    Default Judgment Entered Against Alleged Counterfeiter In Copyright, UCL Case

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 27 granted a default judgment and permanent injunction against an alleged counterfeiter of vaping products in an action filed by a hemp vaping products manufacturer alleging copyright infringement and violation of federal unfair competition law, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), finding that default judgment was warranted because the manufacturer stated a claim upon which it may recover under applicable statutory law and a permanent injunction was warranted because the manufacturer will continue to face irreparable harm without it.

  • November 08, 2021

    In Copyright Row, High Court Questions Reframing Of Issue To Be Reviewed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 8, parties in a longstanding dispute over copyrighted textile and garment designs disagreed on what question is properly before the court, prompting at least one justice to suggest the case could be dismissed as improvidently granted.

  • November 08, 2021

    Fee Request Denied In Copyright Dispute Over ‘Game Of Life’

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A federal judge in Rhode Island in a Nov. 5 order found that although a “close call,” the purposes of the Copyright Act are not advanced by awarding Hasbro Inc. and others attorney fees under the statute in a dispute over the “Game of Life,” because “unpersuasive arguments are not necessarily unreasonable ones.”

  • November 03, 2021

    Right Of Publicity Claims Partly Preempted By Copyright Act, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — An aggregator of yearbook photographs who is accused of violating California right of publicity and unfair competition laws won partial dismissal of the claims on Nov. 2, when a federal judge in California agreed that federal copyright preemption applies to some, but not all, of the claims.

  • November 02, 2021

    Oracle Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Misuse Counterclaim In California

    SAN FRANCISCO — An infringement defendant’s counterclaims of copyright misuse and violations of the California unfair competition law were rejected Oct. 29 by a federal judge in California in a win for Oracle America Inc.

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