Mealey's Copyright

  • June 30, 2023

    Authors Say AI Chatbot Companies Use Copyrighted Work Without Credit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two authors filed a putative class action accusing the companies that created ChatGPT and other AI chatbots of copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by using their copyrighted works of fiction in the training datasets for their software without permission or compensation.

  • June 30, 2023

    Publishers Ask High Court To Provide Uniformity On Copyright Damages, Limitations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a reply brief supporting their petition for certiorari, two music publishers insist that the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals are split on whether the Copyright Act allows copyright holders to seek damages outside its three-year statute of limitations, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to supply much needed clarity in this area.

  • June 29, 2023

    YouTube:  No DMCA Requirement To Take Down Unaccused Videos Of Purported Infringer

    NEW YORK — A trial court properly dismissed copyright infringement claims against it based on the alleged posting of infringing content by a third-party user of its platform, YouTube LLC tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an appellee brief, asserting that any infringement liability rests solely upon the user that posted the videos, further arguing that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does not mandate the removal of other videos posted by the so-called repeat infringer.

  • June 26, 2023

    In Dispute Over Terms Of Service, Copyright Preemption, Supreme Court Denies Cert

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 26 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to weigh in on a case that asked whether federal copyright law supersedes a contractual provision in a website’s terms of service (TOS), which bars copying.

  • June 23, 2023

    1st Circuit:  Denial Of Fees In ‘Game Of Life’ Copyright Case Was Appropriate

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Rhode Island did not abuse his discretion in denying attorney fees for prevailing defendants in a longstanding dispute over copyright ownership and termination rights to the “Game of Life” board game, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 22.

  • June 20, 2023

    Sculptor Beats Copyright Claims, But Trademark Claims Will Proceed In N.Y.

    NEW YORK — The sculptor of Fearless Girl — a young girl staring down the famed Charging Bull sculpture near Wall Street in New York City — has won summary judgment in New York federal court on allegations that she engaged in direct copyright infringement when she sold a replica of Fearless Girl to a Wall Street executive who then used the work at a corporate event focused on gender diversity.

  • June 20, 2023

    In Mixed Ruling, Copyright, Trademark Owner Prevails In Part In California

    SAN DIEGO — A dispute over various trademarks and copyrighted technical drawings will proceed while allegations that other trademarks and copyrights were infringed by three defendants will be dismissed in a dispute between a security company and its former employees, a California federal judge has ruled.

  • June 19, 2023

    Copyright, Trademark Case By A&E Survives Motion To Dismiss In New York

    NEW YORK — A trademark dispute over “Live PD” will proceed, a New York federal judge decided June 16 upon finding that A&E Television Networks LLC credibly asserts that three defendants willfully and intentionally confused the public as to their affiliation with and sponsorship of the former hit television show.

  • June 16, 2023

    Website Owner: Flawed Pleadings Defeat Direct Infringement Cert Question

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The operator of a concert footage streaming website says that a group of music publishers’ petition for certiorari does not merit the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention because their question about the direct copyright liability standard overlooks the fact that they pleaded and argued the wrong standard, making the case a poor vehicle to examine the volitional conduct requirement.

  • June 14, 2023

    Post-Trial Fee Request By Copyright Defendant Denied In Mississippi

    OXFORD, Miss. — A woman cleared by jurors of allegations of copyright infringement is nonetheless not entitled to an award of fees in connection with the case, a federal judge in Mississippi has ruled.

  • June 13, 2023

    Copyright Holders, YouTube Agree To Dismiss Infringement Suit On Eve Of Trial

    LOS ANGELES — Following a failure to achieve class certification, denial of a petition to appeal, judicial dismissal of some claims and voluntary dismissal of others, three copyright holders jointly filed a stipulation with YouTube LLC to dismiss the remaining infringement claims against the video platform provider with prejudice, ending the three-year old lawsuit one day before a scheduled trial was to begin in California federal court.

  • June 13, 2023

    Rite Aid Counterclaim Of Copyright Misuse Dismissed In Pennsylvania

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania has rejected allegations by Rite Aid Corp. that a software designer engages in copyright misuse by maintaining a monopoly over its “Neutraface” font.

  • June 13, 2023

    Panel: Complete Preemption Cannot Exist Without Registered Copyright

    ATLANTA — An unjust enrichment claim leveled against a cruise line was wrongly removed to federal court as completely preempted by federal copyright law, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled.

  • June 12, 2023

    Copyright Owners Amend Complaint Against OpenAI Over GitHub AI Tool

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Copyright owners filed an amended class action complaint alleging, among other things, violation of the California unfair competition law (UCL), saying OpenAI Inc. and others employed an artificial intelligence program for use on software hub GitHub that reproduces licensed code.

  • June 12, 2023

    In ‘PlasmaCar’ IP Row, Florida Federal Magistrate Judge Recommends Relief

    MIAMI — A design patent, trademark and copyright owner should be granted a preliminary injunction while it pursues infringement allegations against more than 150 e-tailers, a federal magistrate judge in Florida said June 9.

  • June 09, 2023

    9th Circuit Finds Zillow Infringed 2,700 Individual Photos, Not Compilation

    SEATTLE — Affirming a trial court’s ruling, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that Zillow Group Inc.’s unauthorized online use of real estate photos constituted 2,700 separate acts of infringement, rather than infringement of a single compilation of photos.

  • June 09, 2023

    Google, Lyrics Website Spar Over ‘Atypical’ Contract Claim In High Court Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a supplemental brief further supporting its opposition to a petition for certiorari by a song lyrics website operator, Google LLC tells the U.S. Supreme Court that questions about the enforceability of the website’s terms of service (TOS) bolster the U.S. government’s position that the case presents a poor a vehicle for the court to decide whether the petitioner’s “atypical” contractual claims are preempted by federal copyright law.

  • June 09, 2023

    Panel Sends Fee Award For Copyright Class Counsel Back To Trial Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A $1.7 million award of attorney fees to counsel for a class of copyright holders was unreasonable where their action against a music streaming service recovered just over $50,000 for the class members, according to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • June 06, 2023

    Meta Again Wins Dismissal Of Copyright, Lanham Act, DMCA Putative Class Action

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California granted a motion to dismiss a photographer’s amended class complaint against Meta Inc. alleging claims of copyright infringement and violation of the Lanham and Digital Millennium Copyright acts, this time without leave to amend, finding that the claims “fare no better” under the plaintiff’s new theories related to “a convoluted combination of the ‘check-in’ and ‘prefetching’ functionalities on Facebook.”

  • June 02, 2023

    Industry Orgs Back Music Publishers In High Court Direct Copyright Liability Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The day after the Motion Picture Association Inc. (MPA) filed an amicus curiae brief supporting a petition for certiorari by a group of music publishers, a coalition of three music industry associations teamed up on another amicus brief, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify whether direct copyright liability rests solely on the individual that “presses the button” to make infringing copies of a copyrighted work or also on the party who directs or authorizes such infringing activity.

  • June 01, 2023

    Publishers Ask Supreme Court To Resolve Limitations Period For Copyright Damages

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Presenting what they call “an obvious candidate” for certiorari, two music publishers ask the U.S. Supreme Court to provide guidance on whether the three-year statute of limitations period in the Copyright Act limits whether a plaintiff can seek damages under the discovery accrual rule for damages sustained more than three years before a complaint was filed.

  • June 01, 2023

    DOJ:  Lyrics Website’s Copyright Claims Preempted; Certiorari Should Be Denied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — State law contractual claims brought by a song lyrics website operator against Google LLC are indistinguishable from federal copyright infringement claims and are, therefore, precluded by Section 301(a) of the Copyright Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argues in an amicus curiae brief in which it recommends that the U.S. Supreme Court deny the company’s petition for certiorari in which it seeks clarification on application of the statute.

  • May 22, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Intellectual Property Legal Issues Impacting Artificial Intelligence

    By Edward D. Lanquist and Dominic Rota

  • May 31, 2023

    Vietnamese App Maker Denied Certiorari For Website Jurisdiction Issue

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Vietnamese music app creator will have to face copyright infringement claims brought against it by a music distributor because the U.S. Supreme Court denied the company’s petition for certiorari in its May 30 order list, declining to weigh in on a question of when a website can confer jurisdiction over a foreign party.

  • May 19, 2023

    Dispute Over Hendrix Catalog Ownership Stayed In New York

    NEW YORK — Litigation in England will proceed before a New York court weighs in on a declaratory judgment action over releases purportedly signed by two individuals who now assert copyright ownership in sound recordings by the late Jimi Hendrix, a federal judge in New York has ruled.

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