Mealey's Copyright

  • February 28, 2024

    6th Circuit Finds No Abuse Of Discretion In Award Of Disgorged Profits

    CINCINNATI — A copyright dispute between two providers of loyalty certificates issued to car buyers was properly resolved in favor of the plaintiff, and an Ohio federal judge’s subsequent decision to order a defendant to disgorge $441,239 in profits attributed to the use of the infringing certificate will not be disturbed, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled.

  • February 27, 2024

    Microsoft: Material Differences In California, New York AI Copyright Suits

    NEW YORK — Plaintiffs seeking to intervene in or dismissal of New York artificial intelligence copyright suits are simply jockeying for position, and material differences in the suits warrant ignoring the first-to-file rule and denying the motion, Microsoft Corp. tells a federal judge in New York in a Feb. 26 opposition.

  • February 21, 2024

    Discovery Rule In Copyright Cases ‘Pretty Solidified,’ Government Tells High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Counsel for two music industry titans faced tough questions Feb. 21 at the U.S. Supreme Court, with some justices suggesting the case be dismissed as improvidently granted (DIG) and others voicing frustration with perceived over-reach by the petitioners regarding the reformulated question presented.

  • February 21, 2024

    Anthropic Opposes ‘Untimely’ Music Industry Amicus Brief In AI Copyright Fight

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Music industry groups looking to file an amicus curiae brief argue that a case seeking to enjoin an artificial intelligence company doesn’t threaten the AI industry but that continued copyright violations do harm the industry.  But in a Feb. 20 opposition brief, AI company Anthropic PBC calls the brief untimely and says it simply rehashes arguments already raised by the plaintiffs.

  • February 21, 2024

    RICO Claim Dismissed From Clothing Retailer’s AI Design Copyright Theft Case

    LOS ANGELES — Allegations that an online clothing retailer’s artificial intelligence rips off copyrighted fashion designs can form the basis of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim, but the designers must dress the claim with additional allegations, a federal judge in California said in dismissing the claim without prejudice.

  • February 21, 2024

    4th Circuit Finds ISP Willful In File-Sharing Suit, Reverses $1 Billion Judgment

    RICHMOND, Va. — Although a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a jury’s finding that internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc. was liable for contributory infringement related to its subscribers’ unauthorized online sharing of copyrighted musical works, the panel on Feb. 20 concluded that the plaintiff record labels did not establish the necessary direct financial benefit to establish vicarious infringement, leading it to vacate that part of a trial court’s judgment and accompanying $1 billion award to the plaintiffs, remanding for a new trial on damages.

  • February 21, 2024

    Trademark, Copyright Owner Denied Summary Judgment By Illinois Federal Judge

    CHICAGO — Citing a plaintiff’s “trend of under-developing arguments” in trademark and copyright litigation over its continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) filters, a federal judge in Illinois denied summary judgment, finding — among other things — that there is “no case law supporting the proposition that a product itself . . . can constitute a spurious mark for the purposes of establishing a counterfeit.”

  • February 20, 2024

    Google Says UCL, Other Claims In AI Training Lawsuit Fail

    SAN FRANCISCO — Vague allegations and hypothetical damages involving the scraping of websites and other sources for data used in the training of artificial intelligence cannot form the basis of California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims because the potential usage was adequately disclosed and individuals lack a privacy interest in information they themselves publicly disclosed, Google LLC tells a federal judge in California in seeking dismissal.

  • February 16, 2024

    In IP Row With Former Firm, Accused Engineer Defends Summary Judgment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in Utah correctly rejected on summary judgment a patent and copyright owner’s case in full against a former employee and his new, competing company, the employee and company tell the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an appellee brief.

  • February 16, 2024

    Judge Disqualifies Law Firm From Job Search Sites’ Row Over Prior Representation

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge hearing a lawsuit brought by the operators of a job search and resume-creation website against a competitor for trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) granted the plaintiffs’ motion to disqualify a law firm whose attorneys included the defendant’s general counsel and one defendant’s wife, due to the firm’s prior representation of the plaintiffs.

  • February 14, 2024

    Government: AI-Assisted Invention Patents Require ‘Significant Human’ Role

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patent applicants must be “natural persons” — artificial intelligences cannot be listed as inventors — and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) analysis of applications including artificial intelligence-assisted inventions focuses on whether a significant human contribution exists, according to guidance published in the Federal Register on Feb. 13.

  • February 14, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Bulk Of Writers’ Copyright-Based Claims Against OpenAI

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part a motion by OpenAI Inc. and its affiliated companies involved in developing the ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) program to dismiss claims brought against it in two putative class actions filed by authors who say ChatGPT’s development and operations infringe their copyrights.

  • February 14, 2024

    GitHub, Microsoft, Coders To Confer Over Discovery In AI Copyright Licensing Row

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In a dispute over licensing and attribution of computer code in open-source artificial intelligence (AI) collaborations, a California federal judge scolded defendants GitHub Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and five John Doe plaintiffs for not complying with the proper procedures for submitting discovery letters, leading him to deny the relief sought by the parties and to once again order them to meet and confer over their remaining discovery disputes.

  • February 13, 2024

    Claims Hip-Hop Artist Copied Song Dismissed By New York Federal Judge

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York in a Feb. 12 order said no reasonable jury could find that “The Box,” a 2019 rap song that spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard “Hot 100” chart, is substantially similar to “Come on Down (Get Your Head Out of the Clouds),” a song released in 1975 by R&B artist Greg Perry.

  • February 13, 2024

    California Artists Want OpenAI Enjoined From Litigating New York Actions

    SAN FRANCISCO — Artists urge a federal court in California to enjoin OpenAI Inc. and related companies from litigating similar actions in a New York federal court, saying the defendants are proceeding there in an effort to find a more friendly jurisdiction.

  • February 13, 2024

    RIAA, MPA, Other Amici Back DOJ In DMCA 1st Amendment Fight

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five trade associations teamed up on an amicus curiae brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a dispute over the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), telling the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court was right to enforce the statute’s anti-circumvention provision because technological protection measures (TPMs) serve an important role in protecting copyrights and free speech.

  • February 12, 2024

    New York Federal Judge Denies Reconsideration Request In Copyright Row

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York has again found that musical artists Shawn Carter, professionally known as Jay-Z, Timothy Mosley, professionally known as Timbaland, and Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, professionally known as Ginuwine, are entitled to summary judgment on allegations of copyright infringement.

  • February 12, 2024

    Frazetta Daughters Lack Standing In Copyright Row, Florida Federal Judge Says

    TAMPA, Fla. — Although allegations of direct copyright infringement leveled in connection with a “Frazetta Book Cover Art” book were proven, two of late artist Frank Frazetta’s daughters cannot remain in the case as plaintiffs, a federal judge in Florida indicated in a Feb. 9 summary judgment ruling.

  • February 12, 2024

    Studio To 2nd Circuit: Discovery Rule Applies In Posted Photo Infringement Suit

    NEW YORK — In an appellant reply brief, a photography studio tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it sued over the online posting of its copyrighted pictures within three years of learning of the purported infringing use, making its complaint timely under the “discovery rule.”

  • February 09, 2024

    Photography Company Loses Bid For Home Venue In Copyright Case

    SEATTLE — Allegations that a rental homeowner ended negotiations to purchase copyrighted images of his Idaho rental properties but then displayed the images online have been dismissed by a federal judge in Washington.

  • February 08, 2024

    Judge Grants Consolidation In Journalists’ AI Suit Against Microsoft, OpenAI

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York granted a motion to consolidate two journalists’ copyright infringement suit against OpenAI Inc. and related entities with previously consolidated cases involving fiction and nonfiction authors.

  • February 07, 2024

    Online News Site Suffers Blow; Panel Says Use Of Copyrighted Photo Not Fair

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Independent Journal Review (IJR) must face allegations that it infringed a copyrighted photograph of musician Ted Nugent without a defense of copyright invalidity in place, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 6.

  • February 06, 2024

    Panel Affirms: Intake Form Insufficiently Creative For Copyright Protection

    ST. LOUIS — A win for infringement defendant Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Inc. (BHA)  has been confirmed by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on grounds that the multinational conglomerate’s accused customer intake form is not copyrightable.

  • February 01, 2024

    Hearst, Photographer Argue In High Court Briefs Over Copyright Discovery Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, Hearst Newspapers LLC asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court “has never applied a discovery rule to the Copyright Act” and has twice left the question open, representing that the present copyright dispute over the online use of photographs, presents “a simple and clean record” for the court to resolve the “flawed” reasons that circuits have applied the atextual rule.

  • January 30, 2024

    Celebrity Tattoo Artist Cleared By Jurors In Copyright Infringement Case

    LOS ANGELES — A jury empaneled in California federal court has resoundingly rejected allegations that Katherine Von Drachenberg, better known as Kat Von D, infringed a copyrighted photograph of the late jazz musician Miles Davis with a tattoo she created in 2017.