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Mealey's Copyright

  • December 12, 2018

    Plaintiff Prevails In Dispute Over Photo Of Trump Wedding Crash

    NEW YORK — A wedding guest who later copyrighted his photograph of President Donald Trump crashing a wedding prevailed on summary judgment on Dec. 10 in his New York federal infringement lawsuit against a news outlet that published the image online (Jonathan Otto v. Hearst Communications Inc., No. 17-4712, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208698).

  • December 12, 2018

    llinois Federal Judge Orders Parties To Arbitrate Copyright Claim

    CHICAGO — An infringement dispute over copyrighted architectural plans for a hotel in Chicago will proceed, but not in federal court, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 10 (Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture LLC v. SB Yen Management Group Inc., et al., No. 18-275, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207656).

  • December 10, 2018

    Federal Circuit: ITC Erred In Denying Relief On Trade Dress Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allegations that various defaulting respondents imported spine boards, cervical collars, CPR masks, training manikins and product literature that infringed the trade dress of two medical device makers were erroneously rejected by the International Trade Commission (ITC) as inadequately pleaded, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 7 (Laerdal Medical Corp. et al., v. International Trade Commission, No. 17-2445, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34465).

  • December 10, 2018

    DOJ Seeks To Argue Against Oracle In High Court Case Over Nontaxable Costs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two weeks after filing a brief supporting petitioner Rimini Street Inc. in a dispute over the award of nontaxable costs in an underlying software copyright lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the United States, asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 for leave to participate in upcoming oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 6, 2018

    No Copyright Preemption For Fee-Shifting Provision Of CRRA, 9th Circuit Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a Dec. 3 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the 1976 Copyright Act does not preempt the attorney fees provision of the California Resale Royalties Act (CRRA) (Chuck Close and Laddie John Dill, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. Sotheby’s Inc., et al., Nos. 16-56234, -56235, -56252, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33995).

  • December 3, 2018

    Justices Won’t Hear Pro Se Petitioner’s Suit Against Apple Over Reading Device

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida man who appealed the standard for dismissing his copyright infringement suit against Apple Inc. saw his petition for certiorari denied by the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 3, leaving a judgment against the pro se litigant in tact (Thomas S. Ross v. Apple Inc., No. 18-494, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 7142).

  • December 3, 2018

    Media-Monitoring Service Denied Certiorari In Fair-Use Spat With Fox News

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The provider of an online media-monitoring service saw its petition for certiorari denied in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dec. 3 order list, leaving its question about the transformative use of copyrighted material in a dispute with Fox News Network LLC unanswered (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 18-321, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 7049).

  • November 30, 2018

    Pro Se Copyright Holder Appeals Dismissal Standard To U.S. Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the Nov. 7 decision by Apple Inc. to waive its right to respond to his petition for certiorari, a pro se litigant awaits a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it will consider his presented question on the standard for granting a motion to dismiss in copyright litigation (Thomas S. Ross v. Apple Inc., No. 18-494, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 30, 2018

    ‘Jersey Boys’ Creators Defend Fair Use Judgment In 9th Circuit Appeal

    SAN FRANCISCO — Members of the band the Four Seasons and others connected with the popular musical “Jersey Boys” tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 23 appellee brief that any similarities between the play and an unpublished book about the band are attributable to historical elements and constitute fair use (Donna Corbello v. Frankie Valli, et al., No. 17-16337, 9th Cir.).

  • November 28, 2018

    Chamber Of Commerce Opposes Nontaxable Costs Awards In High Court Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 20 amicus curiae brief supporting petitioner Rimini Street Inc., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce tells the U.S. Supreme Court that an award of nontaxable costs to Oracle USA Inc. in an underlying software copyright lawsuit runs counter to copyright law and will lead to unpredictable results in future litigation (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 28, 2018

    ‘Copyright Troll’ Porn Firm Denied Discovery To Identify Doe Downloading Defendant

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Characterizing an adult entertainment company as a serial litigator, a District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 16 denied the plaintiff’s motion to conduct pre-conference discovery to learn the identity of a John Doe defendant in a copyright infringement case, chiding the plaintiff for treating the court like “an ATM” in its “high-tech shakedown” (Strike 3 Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:18-cv-01425, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195580).

  • November 28, 2018

    D.C. Circuit Upholds $794,000 Attorney Fee Award In Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge’s determination that a willful copyright infringer should reimburse a plaintiff $794,203.42 in attorney fees was not an abuse of discretion, the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 27 (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska, No. 18-7050, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33303).

  • November 27, 2018

    Ohio Federal Judge Disqualifies Counsel In Copyright Dispute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A church accused of copyright infringement succeeded Nov. 21 in persuading an Ohio federal judge to disqualify counsel for a plaintiff, based upon the attorney’s previous provision of legal advice to the church in intellectual property-related matters (Judith Schlueter v. Bethesda Healing Ministry Inc., No. 17-1055, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198342).

  • November 26, 2018

    3rd Circuit: Mandamus Not Warranted In Dispute Over Forum Clause

    PHILADELPHIA — In a divided Nov. 21 ruling, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that although two copyright infringement plaintiffs are not bound by a forum-selection clause and that a Pennsylvania federal judge “got it wrong” when transferring one of the cases to New York, mandamus is an “extraordinary remedy” not warranted on the facts of the instant cases (In re: McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings LLC, Nos. 17-2826, 17-3444, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32931).

  • November 16, 2018

    News Group Argues For Broader Litigation Rights In High Court Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A news organization in its Nov. 13 merits reply brief tells the U.S. Supreme Court that the Copyright Act permits a copyright owner to sue for infringement after it has applied for a copyright without requiring it to wait until registration has been granted by the U.S. Copyright Office, asserting that finding otherwise would be inconsistent with the statute’s wording and would create barriers to owners’ efforts to protect their works (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 16, 2018

    9th Circuit Denies Rehearing, But Modifies Ruling In Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — On Oct. 31, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a modified ruling in a dispute over copyright protection for digitally remastered sound recordings originally fixed before 1972, removing language relating to preemption and derivative works while adding an observation that the recently enacted Music Modernization Act (MMA) preempts state law claims for digital transmissions of pre-1972 sound recordings (ABS Entertainment Inc., et al. v. CBS Corporation, et al., No. 16-55917, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 30808).

  • November 16, 2018

    2nd Circuit Won’t Rehear Dispute Over Copyright Claim Accrual

    NEW YORK — A June 2018 ruling that revived plaintiffs’ claims of authorship and ownership of the renewal term copyrights in the 1973 song “Sho’ Nuff” will not be revisited, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals revealed Nov. 14 (John Wilson, et al. v. Dynatone Publishing Co., et al., No. 17-1549, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32202).

  • November 15, 2018

    Sanctions Against Attorney For Copyright Defendant Upheld By 7th Circuit

    CHICAGO — In a Nov. 14 ruling, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed an Indiana federal judge’s decision to order monetary sanctions against an attorney who moved for an award of fees following a settlement of copyright infringement allegations (Richard N. Bell v. Vacuforce LLC, Nos. 18-1159, 1368, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32196).

  • November 14, 2018

    Software Support Firm Tells High Court Oracle’s Costs Award Was Improper

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A trial court erred in awarding Oracle USA Inc. nontaxable costs in a copyright infringement lawsuit, a software support company argues in its Nov. 13 merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, stating that the guidelines of the Fee Act do not permit such an award (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 13, 2018

    Utah Federal Judge Grants Default Judgment Against BitTorrent Users

    SALT LAKE CITY — Granting a movie production company’s motion for default judgment, a Utah federal judge on Nov. 8 found that seven Doe defendants’ failure to respond to copyright infringement claims against them related to the online peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing of a motion picture merited the requested judgment; however, she reduced the requested statutory award from $10,000 to $1,500 per defendant (Bodyguard Productions Inc. v. Does 1-25, No. 2:18-cv-00026, D. Utah, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192234).