Mealey's Copyright

  • April 10, 2024

    Court Erred On Timing, Logic In OpenAI Trademark Dispute, Party Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — No evidence supports the conclusion that the OpenAI mark acquired secondary meaning by September 2022, and the court’s holding otherwise ignores that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied it that status as late as April 2023, a competitor for the mark says in a motion for reconsideration.

  • April 09, 2024

    Contract Claims Partly Preempted By Copyright, N.Y. Federal Judge Finds

    NEW YORK — A plaintiff embroiled in litigation with talk radio host John Batchelor over podcast distribution rights lost its bid to return the dispute to New York state court on April 8, with a federal judge concluding that because portions of the case are preempted by federal copyright law, “policing the line between the preempted and non-preempted portions of these claims will be an ongoing task that will continue through trial,” thereby warranting the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction.

  • April 05, 2024

    Estate Settles Suit Over Artificial Intelligence George Carlin Comedy Video

    LOS ANGELES — George Carlin’s representatives settled copyright and privacy claims against the entities responsible for creating an artificial intelligence presentation featuring his voice and likeness, with the defendants agreeing to stipulated consent judgment enjoining the creation of or otherwise using the comedian’s image, voice or likeness.

  • April 04, 2024

    Judge: California Plaintiffs Can’t Intervene In New York OpenAI Copyright Suits

    NEW YORK — California plaintiffs lack sufficient interest in New York copyright infringement cases involving similar but different defendants and claims arising from the training of artificial intelligence, a federal judge in New York said in denying a motion to intervene.

  • April 04, 2024

    Appeals Court Weighs In On Software Copyright Case For 3rd Time

    CINCINNATI — A summary judgment in favor of infringement defendants by a federal judge in Michigan was upheld April 3 by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in its third ruling in a longstanding dispute over copyright protection for computer code.

  • April 04, 2024

    California Federal Judge Offers Glimpse At Hurdles In TikTok IP Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In advance of a planned April 5 hearing on a motion to dismiss copyright infringement and false advertising claims leveled against TikTok Inc. and others, a federal judge in California has directed the video sharing app to be prepared to defend its position that the registration requirement in federal copyright law extends to copyrights registered abroad.

  • April 02, 2024

    7th Circuit Won’t Reinstate Pro Se Copyright Claims Against Amazon

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Indiana correctly rejected a copyright infringement action against Inc. and a company that helps authors self-publish their works, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled, because the complained-of conduct was authorized by a license.

  • April 01, 2024

    Collectibles Firm To 3rd Circuit: Hockey Sculpture Has No Protectable Elements

    PHILADELPHIA — A Florida-based sports memorabilia company asks the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its appellee brief to affirm a lower court’s finding that its hockey puck piece containing melted rink ice does not infringe the appellant’s puck-shaped item because the latter work has no copyrightable, nonutilitarian features.

  • March 29, 2024

    Panel Reinstates ‘Tiger King’ Copyright Case On 1 Of 8 Videos

    DENVER — Findings by a federal judge in Oklahoma that seven videos featured in “Tiger King:  Murder, Mayhem and Madness” are non-actionable works-made-for-hire will stand, but Netflix Inc. and the producer of the documentary series must face copyright infringement allegations with regard to an eighth video, which was wrongly declared a fair use, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled.

  • March 27, 2024

    Panel: Evidence Supports Finding That Copyright Action Was Retaliatory

    NEW YORK — A decision by a federal judge in New York to award the author of a novella upon which “Mafietta” was based $44,496.05 in attorney fees was upheld March 26 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said there was “a sufficient basis in the record to support” findings that a copyright infringement lawsuit by the producers of the film “was frivolous and retaliatory.”

  • March 26, 2024

    AI Prompts Are Merely ‘Copyright-Laundering Facility,’ Artists Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — Artificial intelligence prompts used to create images are a “copyright-laundering facility designed to produce low-cost knockoffs of copyrighted images,” the plaintiffs argue in four wide-ranging oppositions to motions to dismiss filed in California federal court.

  • March 26, 2024

    Rapper To 7th Circuit: Evidence Shows His Song Was Sampled, Infringed

    CHICAGO — Hip-hop artist Eddie Lee Richardson, known professionally as Hotwire, tells the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in his opening appellant brief that a trial court erred in finding that he did not establish that French Montana’s hit 2012 song “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’” (AWAN) directly sampled and, therefore, infringed the copyright in his song “Hood Pushin Weight” (HPW).

  • March 25, 2024

    Publishers Ask 2nd Circuit To Find Internet Archive’s EBook Lending Infringing

    NEW YORK — The “wholly manufactured” practice of “controlled digital lending” in which Internet Archive (IA) digitizes books and lends them online “is radical and unlawful,” book publishers tell the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in their appellee brief, seeking affirmance of a trial court’s finding that the practice infringed their copyrights.

  • March 22, 2024

    Copyright Defendants Again Awarded Fees, This Time By 7th Circuit Panel

    CHICAGO — A little over two months after their successful defense on appeal of a $1.5 million attorney fee award from an Illinois federal judge, an investment banking company and its managing director won $260,219.25 in fees and costs incurred in the appeal, despite the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals finding that the factors for such an award are in “equipoise.”

  • March 22, 2024

    New York Times: Copyright Violations, Not Hacking, At Heart Of ChatGPT Case

    NEW YORK — OpenAI Inc. knew that ChatGPT would produce material protected by copyright, not only because of well-publicized incidents where artificial intelligences output protected works but because it was told as much and discussed the issue internally, the New York Times Co. (NYT) says in opposing a motion to dismiss.

  • March 21, 2024

    Accrediting Group Certifies 1st Large Language Model Trained On ‘Clean’ Data

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nonprofit Fairly Trained on March 20 announced certification of the first large language model (LLM) trained with a consent-based approach to data, saying the step proves that artificial intelligence (AI) can be trained while treating creators fairly and ethically.

  • March 20, 2024

    4th Circuit Stands By Contributory Copyright Liability Findings For ISP

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 19 denied dual petitions for rehearing or rehearing en banc, leaving in place a panel decision one month earlier that vacated a $1 billion award for vicarious copyright infringement by an internet service provider (ISP) while also upholding findings that the ISP is liable for contributory infringement.

  • March 19, 2024

    Plaintiffs Fire Back In UCL, Copyright Case Involving Google AI Training Data

    SAN FRANCISCO — Individuals enjoy a property right in their personal information, and a complaint alleges unlawful and unfair conduct sufficiently enough for claims under all three prongs of the California unfair competition law (UCL), plaintiffs in a copyright and privacy class action accusing Google LLC of “wide-scale data theft” in the training of its artificial intelligence tell a federal court in opposing dismissal.

  • March 19, 2024

    MosaicML AI Model Comes Under Fire In Authors’ Lawsuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trio of authors sued MosaicML, the provider of tools facilitating the training of artificial intelligence, and its parent company, claiming that they benefitted from the improper copying of potentially hundreds of thousands of copyrighted works.

  • March 15, 2024

    Panel Upholds Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Per Extraterritoriality Principle

    SAN FRANCISCO — A bid by the owner of a copyrighted widget for reinstatement of its infringement case against a foreign entity has failed at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which rejected the appellant’s assertion that a California federal judge failed to consider its claims under the correct statute.

  • March 12, 2024

    ISP Asks 4th Circuit To Rehear ‘Exceptionally Important’ Secondary Liability Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — Filing an amicus curiae brief on March 11 in support of fellow internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc.’s quest for rehearing in an appeal where it was found liable for contributory infringement for its subscribers’ file-sharing activities, Frontier Communications Parent Inc. tells the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a panel’s holding on copyright liability for merely providing internet service that is misused by customers “drives a wrecking ball through the ordinary limits of secondary liability in direct conflict with [U.S.] Supreme Court precedent.”

  • March 11, 2024

    Nvidia’s NeMo Megatron AI Latest LLM Targeted With Copyright Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nvidia Corp. trained its NeMo Megatron artificial intelligence with 20 billion “weights” derived from an enormous amount of copyrighted and otherwise protected material, a trio of authors claims in a March 8 California federal class action targeting large language model (LLM) training methods.

  • March 11, 2024

    Copyright Office Calls Human Authorship ‘Basic Prerequisite’ In AI Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An artificial intelligence developer has not established any reason why the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should “upend . . . well-established principles” that “nonhuman authors are not entitled to copyright protection,” the U.S. Copyright Office argues in an appellee brief, asking the court to find that a trial court properly upheld the office’s refusal to issue a copyright for a work of art to an AI machine.

  • March 08, 2024

    Pa. Federal Judge Rejects 2nd, 9th Circuit Standard For Joint Authorship Intent

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Because it remains unclear whether a settlement agreement extends to a plaintiff’s original design for a dragon-themed boot button that, while proven to be a joint work, still may not encompass an accused “simplified, two-dimensional rendering” by an infringement defendant, a Pennsylvania federal judge largely denied summary judgment.

  • March 07, 2024

    Fee Award Slashed, But Dismissal Of Lanham Act, Copyright Claims Upheld

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 did not reach allegations by two appellants that the “idea-expression dichotomy” under federal copyright law is unconstitutional, deeming the position waived in view of their failure to raise it before an Oregon federal magistrate judge.

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