Mealey's Copyright

  • November 15, 2019

    Supreme Court To Take On Google, Oracle Software Copyright Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its orders list today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a longstanding dispute over fair use and the copyrightability of a software interface (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 15, 2019

    Georgia Defends Originality, Copyrightability Of Statute Annotations To High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With oral arguments fast approaching in a dispute over whether annotations accompanying state laws are copyrightable, Georgia tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Nov. 8 reply brief that the Copyright Act and high court precedent support a finding that the annotations are sufficiently original and protectable (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 15, 2019

    Defendant In Washington Copyright Case Wins $1.6M Fee Award

    SEATTLE — In a Nov. 14 ruling, a federal judge in Washington deemed “meritless” allegations of copyright infringement levied against an art studio and held that a $1.6 million attorney fees award is warranted given the “need to deter the type of unsupported and fatally-flawed copyright claims asserted” (Michael Moi v. Chihuly Studio Inc., No. 17-853, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197837).

  • November 15, 2019

    Nirvana Lawsuit Over ‘Happy Face’ To Proceed In California Court

    LOS ANGELES — A request by Marc Jacobs International LLC for dismissal of allegations that it infringed the copyrighted “Happy Face” smiley face design and logo made famous by the rock band Nirvana was denied Nov. 8 by a California federal judge, in an in-chambers ruling entered Nov. 12 (Nirvana LLC v. Mark Jacobs International LLC, et al., No. 18-10743, C.D. Calif.).

  • November 14, 2019

    Tennessee Federal Judge Lifts TRO In Copyright, Trade Secret Row

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a Nov. 13 decision memorializing her Nov. 7 bench ruling, a federal judge in Tennessee lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) entered in October against various parties accused of copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation in connection with an upcoming Christmas show (Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Market Ltd. v. Glowco LLC, et al., No. 19-966, M.D. Tenn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196660).

  • November 13, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Tosses Copyright Case Over ‘Walk It Talk It’

    NEW YORK — A musical artist’s failure to properly register his song “Walk It Like I Talk It” proves fatal to his copyright infringement allegation against Capitol Records LLC and others, a  New York federal judge ruled Nov. 12 (Leander C. Pickett v. Migos Touring Inc., et al., No. 18-9775, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196106).

  • November 13, 2019

    ‘Hot News,’ Infringement Claims Against Bloomberg Dismissed In D.C.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allegations by an internet-based subscription news and research service that Bloomberg L.P. misappropriated proprietary information under the common-law “hot news” doctrine were dismissed without prejudice on Nov. 12 by a federal judge in the District of Columbia (DBW Partners LLC d/b/a The Capitol Forum v. Bloomberg L.P., et al., No. 19-311, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195725).

  • November 11, 2019

    Texas Federal Judge: No Registration Needed For DMCA Claims

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 7 denied a motion to dismiss allegations that a defendant violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 1202(b), when it removed copyright management information (CMI), rejecting the defendant’s position that the claim cannot proceed because the technical drawings in dispute are unregistered (Diamondback Industries Inc. v. Repeat Precision, et al., No. 18-902, N.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193637).

  • November 08, 2019

    In 2nd Certiorari Bid, Rimini Questions Injunction In Oracle Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 5 petition, Rimini Street Inc. seeks a second grant of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running software license copyright infringement dispute with Oracle USA Inc., this time asking the high court to find that an infringer’s mental state needs to be considered when deciding whether to grant injunctive relief related to an innocent infringer (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 19-589, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 05, 2019

    Oral Arguments Held In Dispute Over Abrogation Of State Copyright Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Counsel for a videographer who asserted claims of copyright infringement against the state of North Carolina argued Nov. 5 before the U.S. Supreme Court that the case was erroneously rejected by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on grounds of sovereign immunity (Frederick L. Allen, et al. v. Roy A. Cooper III, et al., No. 18-877, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 04, 2019

    Panel Affirms Rejection Of Copyright, Trademark Row Between Freemasons

    RICHMOND, Va. — In an Oct. 30 ruling, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a Virginia federal judge’s determination that allegations of copyright and trademark infringement levied against a spinoff masonic organization fail as a matter of law (United Supreme Council v. United Supreme Council, No. 18-2034, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32478).

  • November 01, 2019

    YouTube Critic To High Court:  Malicious Copyright Suit Merited Punitive Damages

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A YouTube user who pursued malicious prosecution claims against a Florida church that was the target of her critical videos and was sued for copyright infringement by the church tells the U.S. Supreme Court in an Oct. 23 reply brief that her petition for certiorari properly presented questions regarding due process and her entitlement to punitive damages (Shirley Jn Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 19-279, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 01, 2019

    Videographer To High Court:  Copyright Law Abrogating State Law Is Constitutional

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress acted within its constitutional authority in enacting the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (CRCA), a videographer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in his Oct. 18 merits reply brief, arguing that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in finding that sovereign immunity prevented the statute from being enforced against North Carolina in a copyright dispute over vessel salvage footage (Frederick L. Allen, et al. v. Roy A. Cooper III, et al., No. 18-877, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 30, 2019

    9th Circuit Reinstates Copyright Claims Over ‘Shake It Off’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A decision by a federal judge in California to dismiss allegations of copyright infringement against Taylor Swift and others was reversed and remanded Oct. 28 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Sean Hall and Nathan Butler v. Taylor Swift, et al., No. 18-55426, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32272).

  • October 29, 2019

    Copyright Claims Against REI, Chalk Bag Maker Transferred To Idaho

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 25 ordered copyright infringement claims against Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) and a co-defendant transferred to federal court in Idaho but denied outright dismissal of the action out of “deference to the transferee court” (Tony Hong v. Recreational Equipment Inc., et al., No. 19-951, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185371).

  • October 28, 2019

    Judge Dismisses All Claims Accrued Outside Of Relevant Statute Of Limitations

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Oct. 23 granted a recording company’s motion to dismiss all California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims accrued outside the relevant statute of limitations in a copyright infringement dispute but denied the motion as to all other claims (Syl Johnson, et al. v. UMG Recordings Inc., No. 19-02364, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184455).

  • October 25, 2019

    In Massachusetts, Copyright Plaintiff Denied Injunction

    BOSTON — In an Oct. 24 ruling, a federal judge in Massachusetts found that a copyright infringement plaintiff is not entitled to a preliminary injunction because she is unable to demonstrate a risk of irreparable harm if relief is not issued (Leah Bassett v. Monic Jensen, et al., No. 18-10576, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183888).

  • October 23, 2019

    Copyright Counterclaim Survives Motion To Dismiss In Vermont

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont on Oct. 19 allowed a plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss a request for a declaratory judgment of no copyright infringement but denied the plaintiff’s motion to also dismiss a compulsory infringement counterclaim, rejecting the plaintiff’s position that the voluntary dismissal deprives the court of jurisdiction (Exist Inc. v. The Vermont Country Store Inc., No. 19-58, D. Vt., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181409).

  • October 22, 2019

    Production Company Dismissed From Alabama Copyright Case

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Allegations that a production company for the HGTV series “Good Bones” committed copyright infringement were dismissed Oct. 21 by a federal judge in Alabama who found that the company’s contacts with the forum are too “random, fortuitous, or attenuated” to support jurisdiction (Melanie Tolbert v. Discovery Inc., et al., No. 18-680, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181528).

  • October 21, 2019

    9th Circuit Remands For Determination Of Statutory Preemption

    SAN FRANCISCO — A dispute over royalties for various copyrighted musical works was returned Oct. 17 to a California federal district court, when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the recent passage of federal law directly impacts the case (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Pandora Media LLC, No. 15-55287, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30939).