Mealey's Copyright

  • 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.

  • January 29, 2024

    No Laughing Matter: Dudesy AI Sued Over George Carlin Comedy Video

    LOS ANGELES — Individuals using an artificial intelligence created and publicly posted a “click-bait” video of deceased comedian George Carlin without authorization for the use of his likeness or any license to use copyrighted material, the comedian’s representatives allege in a lawsuit filed in California federal court.

  • January 26, 2024

    Widow’s Bid To Terminate ‘Funny Girl’ Copyrights Rejected By 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — A lawsuit by the widow of a lyricist who sought a declaratory judgment that she can terminate rights to songs from the Broadway musical “Funny Girl” was properly rejected on summary judgment by a federal judge in Connecticut, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled.

  • January 24, 2024

    Insurers Have No Duty To Defend Against Copyright Suit, California Panel Affirms

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Jan. 23 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of professional liability and excess insurers, finding that the insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify their investment adviser insured against an underlying copyright lawsuit.

  • January 24, 2024

    Copyright Act Protects AI-Generated Artwork, Man Says On Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Precedent governing application of the Copyright Act doesn’t require a human creator, and the law’s very purpose supports granting its protections to art created by an artificial intelligence, a man tells the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • January 24, 2024

    Authors In OpenAI Copyright Fight Praise Joint Stipulation, Oppose Stay

    NEW YORK — Parties’ carefully crafted stipulation creates “tremendous efficiencies” while removing the threat of dismissal motions and attempts to transfer a pair of class action copyright lawsuits against OpenAI Inc., and the court should reject an outside party’s request that it be stayed and a steering committee be formed, authors tell a federal judge in New York in a Jan. 23 letter.

  • January 23, 2024

    Music Publishers Say Proposed Amicus Brief In AI Case Is Off Key

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Music publishers on Jan. 22 said a proposed Jan. 19 amicus curiae brief by groups comprising artificial intelligence investors is unnecessary at this stage of their copyright infringement lawsuit and is unlikely to add much to the dispute other than costs and time.

  • January 23, 2024

    Authors, OpenAI Entities Stipulate To Case Guidelines In Copyright Lawsuit

    NEW YORK — Parties to class action copyright lawsuits against OpenAI Inc. and related entities brought by fiction writers and nonfiction authors have agreed to consolidate the two cases and that the defendants will not seek transfer or dismissal of existing claims, among other framework for the cases to proceed, a federal judge in New York said in a Jan. 22 order adopting the stipulation.  Meanwhile, two journalists who recently filed a similar suit asked the court on Jan. 23 to hold the stipulation in abeyance until the court decides whether to include their suit in the consolidated actions.

  • January 22, 2024

    Meritless Publicity Claims In AI Copyright Suit Warrant Fee Award, Company Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Because the plaintiffs dropped right-to-publicity claims from their amended complaint challenging artificial intelligence’s use of their works, it is clear that those claims were meritless, and the court should grant a motion to strike and award fees under the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, Stability AI Ltd. tells a federal judge in California in a reply brief.

  • January 22, 2024

    High Court Grants Bid By Solicitor General To Argue U.S. Views In Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten days after U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar moved to participate as amicus curiae in the upcoming oral argument in a case that poses the question of whether damages can be recovered for infringement occurring before the three-year statute of limitations under the Copyright Act’s discovery accrual rule, the request was granted Jan. 22 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • January 18, 2024

    Anthropic Defends Use Of Copyrighted Lyrics, Says Injunction Unnecessary

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Music publishers filed suit in the wrong jurisdiction, but besides that, no evidence suggests that Anthropic PBC’s Claude artificial intelligence will produce copyrighted lyrics going forward absent “special attacks” designed to get it to do so, that the use of those works for training is anything other than fair use or that any use of the copyrighted works caused an injury, the company argues in opposing a preliminary injunction.

  • January 17, 2024

    High Court Told ‘Chaos’ Will Ensue ‘In A World Without Chevron’ Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court was told Jan. 17 that “chaos” will ensue “in a world without Chevron” deference by government attorneys, who urged it to apply stare decisis and uphold Chevron, which is being challenged in two cases arising out of federal fishing regulations.

  • January 17, 2024

    On Remand, Judge Awards Fees To Copyright, Trademark Defendants

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Jan. 16 rejected the “quixotic” positions advanced by a copyright and trademark owner and his company in opposing a request for attorney fees by prevailing infringement defendants, declining what he said was a call to “unwind the entire litigation and revisit almost every substantive ruling that has been rendered to date.”

  • January 17, 2024

    Government Wants To Argue In Supreme Court Copyright Discovery Accrual Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar filed a motion on behalf of the U.S. government in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to participate in upcoming Feb. 21 oral arguments in a dispute over whether copyright damages can be recovered for infringement that occurred prior to the three-year statute of limitations under the Copyright Act’s discovery accrual rule.

  • January 16, 2024

    7th Circuit Upholds Fee Award, Judgment In Favor Of Copyright Defendants

    CHICAGO — A determination by a federal judge in Illinois that documents relating to bond offerings do not qualify for copyright protection was affirmed Jan. 12 by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, finding in the same ruling no abuse of discretion in a subsequent award of more than $1.5 million in attorney fees to two prevailing infringement defendants.

  • January 12, 2024

    Appellant: Dismissal Of Patent, Copyright, Lanham Act Claims Was Error

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A patent owner is seeking reinstatement of its lawsuit against a former employee and his new company, asserting in an appellant brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Utah federal judge wrongly construed “positioned between” and “formed between” in relation to a claimed air gap in the steel core of a buckling-restrained brace (BRB).

  • January 10, 2024

    Clothing Retailer Rejects Claims Its AI Systematically Steals

    LOS ANGELES — Claims involving a clothing retailer’s use of artificial intelligence implicate ordinary business practices and cannot form the basis of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and copyright claims, Shein Distribution Corp. says in a reply brief rebutting designers’ claims that the company systematically duplicates and steals protected and commercially valuable designs.

  • January 10, 2024

    Copyright Claims Tossed With Leave To Amend In California Software Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — Counterclaims of direct and contributory copyright infringement leveled by a software developer against a former licensee were dismissed as “too conclusory” on Jan. 9 by a federal judge in California.

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