Mealey's Copyright

  • September 22, 2023

    Trademark Infringement Dispute Between Clothing Boutiques Is Reinstated

    CINCINNATI — A divided panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 said a federal judge in Kentucky wrongly dismissed allegations of trademark infringement leveled by a boutique children’s clothing designer but rightly ruled in favor of a defendant with regard to functionality of the plaintiff’s claimed trade dress.

  • September 21, 2023

    Best-Selling Fiction Writers Sue OpenAI For ‘Systematic Theft On A Mass Scale’

    NEW YORK — The Authors Guild and 17 of its members, who are best-selling fiction writers, filed a putative class complaint against OpenAI Inc. and related companies (OpenAI, collectively) in New York federal court, accusing the artificial intelligence research and deployment firm of “flagrant and harmful” infringement of their copyrighted works in the training of its large language models (LLMs) without obtaining licenses or permission.

  • September 21, 2023

    False Copyright Notice Case Dismissed In Pennsylvania On Jurisdiction Grounds

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that allegations of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against a record company that allegedly sent false copyright notices to and others will not proceed.

  • September 20, 2023

    Trump, Eddy Grant Argue Infringement Of ‘Electric Avenue’ In Tweeted Video

    NEW YORK — In competing summary judgment motions filed in New York federal court, former president Donald J. Trump and singer Eddy Grant dispute whether the inclusion of Grant’s song “Electric Avenue” in a campaign video posted to Trump’s Twitter account constituted fair use, with the parties also disagreeing as to whether the musician can maintain separate copyright infringement claims for the song’s composition and recording.

  • September 18, 2023

    Government Urges High Court To Uphold ‘Bedrock Principle’ Of Chevron Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. secretary of Commerce, two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the government) urge the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 15 brief to not overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference in a challenge to fishery regulations that were upheld by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, writing that doing so could “cause disruption” to complex federal regulatory schemes.

  • September 14, 2023

    After Zillow Prevails In Copyright Case, Fee Award Partly Granted

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Sept. 13 agreed with Zillow Inc. that a photographer’s allegations of copyright infringement were so deficient that they justify an award of attorney fees under federal copyright law.

  • September 13, 2023

    D.C. Circuit: Publication Of Industry Standards Protected By Fair Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia correctly concluded that the noncommercial publication of industry standards for incorporation by reference into law cannot form the basis of a copyright infringement action, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 12.

  • September 13, 2023

    Award-Winning Writers Sue AI Developers For Unfairly Using Copyrighted Books

    SAN FRANCISCO — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, his wife and fellow author Ayelet Waldman and three other writers on Sept. 12 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Meta Platforms Inc. accusing it of copyright infringement and violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by integrating their copyrighted written works into a dataset it uses to train artificial intelligence software, days after they sued OpenAI for similar conduct.

  • September 12, 2023

    In Copyright Dispute By Photog, Claim For Indirect, Unrealized Profits Stricken

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York granted an art gallery and its owner partial summary judgment on Sept. 11 on a photographer’s request for indirect and unrealized profits attributable to the alleged infringement of his picture by artist Richard Prince.

  • September 08, 2023

    Injunction Entered In Florida Trademark, Copyright Dispute Over ‘Masha And The Bear’

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 7 adopted in full a Florida federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that the owner of copyrights and trademarks associated with the hit children’s television show “Masha and the Bear” be awarded a preliminary injunction while it proceeds with an infringement action against myriad online counterfeiters.

  • September 08, 2023

    Independent Publisher Beats Copyright Office On Appeal To D.C. Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Copyright Office’s demand that an independent publisher of rare and out-of-print books deposit physical copies of the books or face a fine represents an unconstitutional taking of property without compensation, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled.

  • September 07, 2023

    9th Circuit: Pinterest Entitled To Safe Harbor On Copyright Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — Because there is no dispute that algorithms and other processes employed by Pinterest for displaying content “alter user-uploaded content to facilitate access,” the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the rejection of copyright infringement claims by a graphic artist and photographer against the style and design sharing website.

  • September 05, 2023

    5th Circuit: Copyright Claims By Architect Were Correctly Rejected

    NEW ORLEANS — A real estate developer and others who prevailed on summary judgment in Texas federal copyright litigation prevailed again in an architect’s appeal of that ruling, with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that the parties’ contract granted the defendant an express, nonexclusive license to certain preliminary design schematics for a senior living facility.

  • August 31, 2023

    Copyright Office Seeks Comments On Way Forward With Artificial Intelligence

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Copyright Office on Aug. 30 issued a notice of inquiry seeking comments related to artificial intelligence and whether legislative or regulatory steps are necessary.

  • August 29, 2023

    AI Companies Say ‘Fair Use’ Protects Chatbot From Copyright Holders’ Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — OpenAI Inc. and affiliated companies that developed the ChatGPT AI program on Aug. 28 moved to dismiss the bulk of two putative class actions filed against them by writers and copyright holders including comedian Sarah Silverman, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to plead copyright infringement as OpenAI never distributed “derivative works” and was allowed under “fair use” to train its chatbot with large datasets of text.

  • August 25, 2023

    Contempt Findings In Oracle, Rimini Copyright Row Largely Upheld By 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 said that while a federal judge in Nevada committed no abuse of discretion in holding Rimini Street Inc. in contempt for its continued storage of Oracle USA Inc. files in its computer systems, the tech support company was wrongly enjoined from de minimis copying of Oracle source code and wrongly sanctioned for copying an Oracle database file it received from a customer.

  • August 23, 2023

    Panel: Concealing Artwork Behind Barrier Neither ‘Modifies Nor Destroys’

    NEW YORK — A visual artist’s complaint against a law school that concealed his murals depicting the abolitionist movement was properly rejected on summary judgment, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in a case that it said “presents weighty concerns that pin an artist’s moral right to maintain the integrity of an artwork against a private entity’s control over the art in its possession.”

  • August 21, 2023

    Judge:  Copyright Requires A Human, Can’t Protect Artificial Intelligence Art

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man’s “myriad theories” regarding the viability of transferring a copyright from an artificial intelligence to its owner “put the cart before the horse” as copyright law at its core historically requires a human creator, a federal judge in the District of Columbia said Aug. 18 in denying the man summary judgment.

  • August 17, 2023

    In Longstanding Copyright Row, Injunction Against Rimini Temporarily Stayed

    LAS VEGAS — An emergency motion to stay an injunction pending the outcome of an appeal by Rimini Street Inc. to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has been denied by a federal judge in Nevada, but in the same order the judge agreed to temporarily administratively stay the relief she recently ordered until the appellate court resolves an as-yet unfiled Rimini motion for a stay.

  • August 16, 2023

    DMCA, UCL Row Dispute Over Digital Street Scenery Dismissed In California

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Allegations by a technical artist that his former employer, an autonomous vehicle company, falsely represented to a third party that his digital urban scenery was a work for hire under federal copyright law have been dismissed by a California federal judge.

  • August 16, 2023

    Amazon, Tolkien Estate Win Dismissal Of California Copyright Action

    LOS ANGELES — Two groups of defendants accused of copyright infringement by the author of an unauthorized sequel to the J.R.R. Tolkien “The Lord of the Rings” series won dismissal of the allegations by a federal judge in California.

  • August 14, 2023

    Panel: Completion Of Building Not Infringement Of Architect’s Copyright

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 upheld an Iowa federal judge’s determination that no actionable copyright infringement took place when the purchaser of an uncompleted building included in a Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding finished work on the structure without the permission of an architect.

  • August 14, 2023

    7th Circuit Vacates, Remands Denial Of Fee Award In Copyright Case

    CHICAGO — Findings by a federal judge in Illinois that an award of attorney fees in favor of a software licensee accused of infringement would not advance the purpose of federal copyright law “strays from our law,” the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 11 in vacating and remanding.

  • August 10, 2023

    Apple Wins Transfer Of Copyright Case To New York Federal Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A romance author’s copyright lawsuit against Apple Inc. in connection with its distribution of an allegedly infringing e-book belongs in New York federal court, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 9.

  • August 09, 2023

    9th Circuit Denies Fees Requested By Prevailing Party In Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — On the heels of a recent bankruptcy discharge, a film director will not be ordered to reimburse attorney fees an actress incurred in defending a favorable summary judgment in California federal court, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 8.