Mealey's Copyright

  • September 14, 2021

    ISP Appeals Liability Ruling, $1 Billion Judgment In 4th Circuit File-Sharing Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — A trial court’s judgment that found it vicariously and contributorily liable for its subscribers’ acts of copyright infringement “is riddled with legal defects,” an internet service provider (ISP) tells the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 8 reply brief supporting its appeal of the judgment and an accompanying $1 billion award, which it says will lead to “devastating consequences” and privacy concerns.

  • September 09, 2021

    5th Circuit Affirms: Texas A&M Properly Cleared Of Copyright Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — In a Sept. 8 unpublished ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a Texas federal judge that the doctrine of sovereign immunity bars allegations of direct copyright infringement leveled against the athletic department of Texas A&M University (TAMU) after the school published a portion of a forthcoming book without the permission of the author.

  • September 08, 2021

    Pinterest Beats Copyright Case In California, But Leave To Amend Granted

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a Sept. 7 order, a federal judge in California agreed with the social media website Pinterest that allegations by a putative class that it contributes to “rampant” copyright infringement fail as a matter of law.

  • September 07, 2021

    2nd Circuit Rejects Fair Use Defense In Copyright Dispute

    NEW YORK — In a Sept. 3 summary order, a panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that a fair use defense by a documentary crew member accused of copyright infringement “is unavailable” and, regardless, the evidence necessary to establish a fair use defense was not advanced in proceedings before a New York federal judge.

  • September 02, 2021

    Amici Tell High Court Fraud Is Necessary To Invalidate Copyright

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government on Aug. 10 filed one of five amicus curiae briefs supporting the petitioner in a dispute over the criteria for invalidating a copyright registration under Section 411(b)(2) of the Copyright Act, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that invalidation requires a showing that inaccurate information on a copyright registration was supplied knowingly or fraudulently, not due to a misunderstanding of the law.

  • August 31, 2021

    Discovery Inc. Prevails On Copyright Claims Over HGTV Show

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Discovery Inc., owner of the cable channel HGTV, won summary judgment in Alabama federal court on Aug. 26 that it did not infringe a copyrighted teaser-trailer for a television show featuring a mother-daughter home renovation team when it developed “Good Bones.”

  • August 31, 2021

    Fabric Firm To High Court:  Separate Awards Permitted For Separate Infringers’ Acts

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Appealing the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that it was entitled to only one statutory damages award for what it claims were distinct acts of infringement of the same copyrighted fabric design by five parties that are not jointly or severally liable, a fabric supplier in an Aug. 16 petition for certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to provide guidance for statutory awards under Section 504 of the Copyright Act.

  • August 25, 2021

    Panel: Public Performance Not Covered By California Copyright Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred in concluding that “exclusive ownership” as the phrase exists in a provision in a California copyright law extends to the right of public performance of pre-1972 works, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 24.

  • August 24, 2021

    9th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Fees, Relief In Copyright Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — A per curiam panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge in California on Aug. 20 that a copyright owner is not entitled to a permanent injunction or reimbursement of its attorney fees despite prevailing on claims of willful infringement against the operator of website.

  • August 18, 2021

    8th Circuit Reinstates Copyright Claims Over Real Estate Listings

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge erred in concluding that a provision in the Copyright Act relating to architectural works bars allegations of infringement against real estate companies, agents and their contractors from generating drawings of home floorplans in the course of selling a home, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 16.

  • August 17, 2021

    Publisher Appeals Fees Denial In Copyright Suit Over Instagram Photo Post

    NEW YORK — A publisher that prevailed in a photographer’s copyright infringement suit against it but was denied a motion for attorney fees, argues in an Aug. 16 brief to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court judge improperly focused on the novel aspect of the photo at issue being an embedded Instagram post, rather than on the fact that the publisher’s posting of the picture was deemed fair use.

  • August 12, 2021

    Nickleback Members Should Face Copyright Claims, Magistrate Judge Says

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Aug. 10 recommended that a motion by Live Nation Entertainment Inc. to dismiss allegations the concert promoter infringed a copyright in the musical composition “Rock Star” be granted.

  • August 11, 2021

    Copyright Office Prevails In Nebraska Litigation Over Denied Registrations

    OMAHA, Neb. — A federal judge in Nebraska on Aug. 10 rejected allegations that the U.S. Copyright Office acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it rejected copyright applications for three new corporate logos on grounds of insufficient creativity.

  • August 11, 2021

    California Federal Judge Stands By Refusal To Query Copyright Office

    SAN DIEGO — A motion for reconsideration of a 2017 order denying a request by several infringement defendants for a referral to the Register of Copyrights to determine copyright validity was itself denied Aug. 9 by a federal judge in California, who instead found for a second time that the applications at issue were not inaccurate.

  • August 11, 2021

    Fabrics Firm To High Court: Fraud Required For Copyright Office Referral

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Referral to the U.S. Copyright Office over inaccuracies in a copyright registration requires a showing that the inaccuracies were made knowingly, a fabrics manufacturer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Aug. 3 opening merits brief, arguing that in finding no fraud requirement for such referrals, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals broke with long-standing legal precedent, including its own.

  • August 10, 2021

    ISP’s DMCA Compliance Documents Ruled Ordinary Business, Not Privileged

    DENVER — Because a Colorado federal magistrate judge found documents related to an internet service provider’s (ISP’s) efforts to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to have been created in the ordinary course of business, he ruled Aug. 6 that the defendant in a music-downloading copyright infringement case could not withhold them from discovery under the attorney-client privilege.

  • August 10, 2021

    California Federal Judge Reconsiders Relief In Trademark, Copyright Case

    LOS ANGELES — In an Aug. 5 holding, a federal judge in California reconsidered her earlier finding that Nintendo of America Inc. was unable to prove that it would be irreparably injured absent a permanent injunction in its trademark and copyright case against a pro se defendant.

  • August 06, 2021

    Panel Says Wrong Standard Applied To Fee Request In Copyright Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an Aug. 3 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a federal judge in California abused her discretion in denying a prevailing infringement defendant’s motion for attorney fees in a dispute over the film “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero.”

  • July 30, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms Monetary Sanctions Against Copyright Attorney

    NEW YORK — Weeks after upholding, via unpublished summary order, nonmonetary sanctions issued against an attorney who brought baseless copyright infringement claims, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 23 upheld a nearly $100,000 sanction against the same attorney and his firm.

  • July 29, 2021

    News Firm Tells 2nd Circuit Reposting Of Photograph Was Noninfringing Fair Use

    NEW YORK — An online news organization defends its republication of a copyrighted photograph as fair use, asking the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a June 16 appellee brief to affirm a trial court’s ruling that dismissed a photographer’s copyright infringement claim against it.

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