Tag Archives: Copyright Infringement

Digital Copyright Ruling Creates New Vulnerabilities for Moderated Online Platforms

A recent federal appeals court decision may lead online platforms that post user-generated content filtered by moderators to think twice before posting copyrighted material. In Mavrix Photographs, LLC v. LiveJournal, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor for “infringement of copyright by reason of … Continue Reading

Annotations to Georgia’s Legal Code Are Protected By Copyright

The state of Georgia and the Code Revision Commission achieved a victory when a federal court granted their motion for summary judgment, holding that Georgia’s “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” (OCGA) was protected by copyright and Public.Resource.Org, Inc.’s duplication of the statutes online were not fair use. The lawsuit was filed after Public.Resource.Org allegedly scanned … Continue Reading

Khloe Kardashian Sued By Photographer Over Instagram Photo

Xposure Photos Ltd., a U.K. photography company, filed suit in the Central District of California last week against Khloe Kardashian, alleging that she infringed its copyright when she posted a photo of herself and her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, to her Instagram without authorization or appropriate copyright notice. Xposure is seeking an injunction against Kardashian for … Continue Reading

What’s In A Name? Unwanted Kardashian Affiliation Dooms High-End Cosmetic Product

The Eleventh Circuit recently denied the Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian’s (the “Kardashians”) motion to compel arbitration related to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by upscale cosmetics company, By Lee Tillett (“Tillett”). The parties are now set to litigate the matter in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  Tillet produces … Continue Reading

Court Allows Copyright Infringement Claims to Live Long and Prosper Against Trekkie

A federal judge recently held that an unauthorized “Star Trek” fan film created by Axanar Productions was “objectively substantially similar” to Star Trek. The court found that Axanar sought to make a “professional production” with a trained crew, including many individuals who had worked on authentic Star Trek productions, while raising over $1 million in … Continue Reading

The Second Circuit Turns the Page on Plaintiffs’ Google Books Copyright Suit

Another important copyright decision is in—this time from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. Plaintiffs—authors of copyright protected books—brought an action for infringement against Google, claiming that its digitization of millions of books without Plaintiffs’ permission violated copyright law. The court on appeal, acknowledging that this dispute “test[ed] the … Continue Reading

“Blurred Lines” but Clear Verdict: Jury Awards Gaye Estate $7.3 Million in Damages for Copyright Infringement

In a verdict on March 10, a Los Angeles federal jury decided “Blurred Lines,” written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, substantially borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got To Give It Up” without permission. As a result, the jury awarded the family of the late soul singer more than $7.3 million in damages. In … Continue Reading

Copyright Owners Go the Distance with ‘Raging Bull’ Victory

In a recent Forbes article, Brad Newberg discussed in depth the Supreme Court's recent decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., and ways for businesses to adapt in light of the shocking decision. With its decision in Petrella, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that in the world of copyright infringement litigation, time is not always of the essence. The question presented was simple: "[W]hether the equitable defense of laches (unreasonable, prejudicial delay in commencing suit) may bar relief on a copyright infringement claim brought within § 507(b) [of the Copyright Act]'s three-year statute of limitations period." And the Court's answer was clear: "[C]ourts are not at liberty to jettison Congress' judgment on the timeliness of suit. Laches, we hold, cannot be invoked to preclude adjudication of a claim for damages brought within the three-year window." Yet, the implications of this case going forward are not quite as simple or clear.… Continue Reading

No Sleep ‘Til . . . Copyright Victory? The Beastie Boys Continue Their String of Successes with a $1.7 Million Award in Monster Energy Case

On June 5, 2014, a federal jury in the Southern District of New York awarded the Beastie Boys $1.7 million for copyright infringement and false endorsement committed by the beverage company Monster Energy. Since Monster Energy admitted to infringing on the band's songs at the outset of the trial, the issue at trial was to determine damages. In 2012, Monster Energy sponsored a video for a snowboarding competition, which featured a sampling of five of the Beastie Boys' songs. The Beastie Boys responded by suing Monster Energy for copyright infringement. The focal point of the group's action was a segment in the video that featured the words "RIP MCA," in a manner resembling Monster Energy's logo. According to the Complaint, the logo implied the group's endorsement of the video and violated a provision in deceased Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch's will, which prohibited any use of his name and/or likeness in promotional campaigns. In its defense, Monster Energy alleged that it received permission to use the sampling from Zach Sciacca (a.k.a. DJ Z-Trip), who originally created the sample with permission from the Beastie Boys. That allegation was later rebuffed in a third-party action brought by Monster Energy against DJ Z-Trip. Lacking the permission to use the sample, the federal jury ruled that Monster Energy should pay the Beastie Boys $1.7 million based on the jury's determination that Monster Energy's copyright violation was willful and in bad faith.… Continue Reading

The Pirate Bay trial – the Swedish verdict

This post was written by Gregor Pryor and Elisabeth Hoffnell. On 17 April 2009, the four men behind the popular Pirate Bay website were found guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced to one year imprisonment and payment of a fine of SEK 30 million (£2.4 million). The defendants include the site’s operators Fredik Neij, Gottfrid … Continue Reading

Rock Star Sues McCain Over Use of Song

When the Republican Party recently ran an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s energy policy, with Jackson Browne’s song “Running on Empty” playing in the background, long-time Democratic activist Browne punched back. Browne sued John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party for using his song in the commercial, which mocks the suggestion … Continue Reading
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