Mealey's Copyright

  • January 09, 2024

    Microsoft, OpenAI Face Journalists’ Suit Over AI Training

    NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. and various OpenAI are no better than any run-of-the-mill thief after they “systematically pilfered” copyrighted works despite enjoying both the means and ability to pay, two journalists allege in a class action filed in federal court in New York.

  • January 08, 2024

    Hip Hop Artist Awarded Summary Judgment On Copyright Infringement Claim

    CHICAGO — A hip-hop artist who performs as “French Montana” has prevailed in Illinois federal court in a copyright infringement action over music created by a plaintiff when he was 16 years old.

  • January 08, 2024

    Pet Brush Maker May Subpoena Meta To Obtain Online Counterfeiters’ Identities

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of website operators accused of selling and advertising counterfeit goods lost their bid to quash a discovery subpoena on Meta Platforms Inc., with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff demonstrated that good cause exists to obtain the defendants’ identifying information for the purpose of serving them with its complaint for intellectual property infringement and unfair competition.

  • January 05, 2024

    Amicus Asks 2nd Circuit To Clarify Fair Use Standard In Digital Library Suit

    NEW YORK — Filing a brief in support of neither party in an appeal by Internet Archive (IA) of a New York federal court’s finding that the “controlled digital lending” practiced in its digital library did not constitute fair use under the Copyright Act, amicus curiae HathiTrust asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to specify that fair use, “as an ‘equitable rule of reason,’” should be decided on a case-by-case basis “to avoid rigid application of the copyright statute when . . . it would stifle the very creativity” protected by the statute.

  • January 04, 2024

    Preliminary Injunction Entered In Alien Costume Copyright Litigation

    PITTSBURGH — A federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that a United Kingdom-based costume company will likely suffer irreparable harm if multiple China-based defendants are not enjoined from selling a knockoff product.

  • January 02, 2024

    Latest AI Copyright Suit Sees New York Times Target Microsoft, OpenAI

    NEW YORK — The New York Times Co. (NYT) sued ChatGPT owners Microsoft Corp. and various OpenAI entities for copyright infringement, saying there is nothing transformative about using valuable and protected materials to create a substitute product.

  • December 22, 2023

    Former Governor, Others Sever, Transfer, Dismiss Portions Of AI Copyright Suit

    NEW YORK — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and other copyright holders who filed suit over the use of their works to train artificial intelligence told a federal judge in New York that they reached an agreement to dismiss one defendant and sever and transfer their claims against Microsoft Corp. and Meta Platforms Inc. to a federal court in California and said they would not oppose a fourth defendant’s motion to stay discovery while the court resolves pending motions.

  • December 21, 2023

    In Copyright, Trademark Row, Judge Allows Fourth Amended Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 20 ruled that a third amended complaint (TAC) seeking cancellation of two trademarks adequately pleads that the underlying applications contained false and misleading information but failed to provide “sufficient factual context” that the applicants knew or had reason to believe that their registrations were procured by fraud.

  • December 19, 2023

    Panel Won’t Rehear Dispute Over Copyright Deposit Copy Requirement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An August holding by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the mandatory deposit requirement set forth in the Copyright Act is unconstitutional will stand, for now.

  • December 19, 2023

    11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Default Judgment In Copyright Litigation

    ATLANTA — A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said a federal judge in Georgia did not err in refusing to grant a copyright infringement plaintiff a default judgment against a musician who never entered an appearance in either court.

  • December 18, 2023

    California Jury Delivers Photographer $6.3M Award In Copyright Case

    LOS ANGELES — In a verdict lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a jury said a photographer is entitled to the maximum statutory damages award of $150,000 for each of 42 willfully infringed copyrighted images.

  • December 15, 2023

    RIAA To High Court: Use Equitable Tolling For ‘Black Box,’ AI-Based Infringement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In one of eight amicus curiae briefs filed in a dispute over the discovery accrual rule in the context of copyright infringement, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) urges the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify that equitable tolling applies to the Copyright Act’s three-year limitations period when the infringement “is undetectable as a practical matter.”

  • December 15, 2023

    Labels Ask 5th Circuit To Affirm $46M Award For ISP’s Contributory Infringement

    NEW ORLEANS — An internet service provider’s (ISP) knowledge that its subscribers were engaging in online “mass infringement” of their copyrighted music, coupled with its failure to act on that knowledge, were more than sufficient to support a jury’s finding of contributory infringement and an accompanying damages award of $46 million, record labels argue in their appellee brief in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • December 13, 2023

    Authors Amend Copyright Claim Against Meta For Using Books To Train AI

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three weeks after a California federal judge called their theory of copyright infringement “nonsensical,” 13 authors filed an amended putative class complaint against Meta Platforms Inc. dropping all claims except for a direct copyright infringement claim against Meta for using their copyrighted works to train its AI chatbots.

  • December 13, 2023

    New York Federal Judge: Copyright, Trademark Claims Barred By Res Judicata

    NEW YORK — Allegations by a plaintiff that a beekeeping supply company, its owners, operators and others infringed his copyrighted advertising text and made unauthorized references to his trademark while advertising a competing product were dismissed Dec. 12 by a federal judge in New York, who adopted a 2019 report and recommendation for the same by a New York federal magistrate judge.

  • December 13, 2023

    Amici Back Coders’ Facial Challenge To DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention Provisions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In their second time before the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, this time appealing the dismissal of their facial challenge to the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), two software coders were supported by the filing of four amicus curiae briefs, including one by legal scholars, that are critical of the statute’s technological protection measures (TPMs).

  • December 11, 2023

    Panel Upholds Win For Zillow On Copyright Claims By Photographer

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in Washington correctly dismissed allegations of copyright infringement leveled against Zillow Inc., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 8, agreeing that a photographer failed to establish volitional conduct by the online real estate website.

  • December 11, 2023

    Digitization Dispute Belongs In California, New York Federal Judge Concludes

    NEW YORK — A group of copyright infringement defendants working to collect, digitize and upload 78 rpm phonographic records won transfer on Dec. 8 of the allegations against them from a federal court in New York to the Northern District of California.

  • December 07, 2023

    Michigan Federal Judge Stands By Earlier Rejection Of Copyright Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bid for reconsideration of a recent decision granting a copyright infringement defendant judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) was denied Dec. 6 by a federal judge in Michigan.

  • December 07, 2023

    New Jersey Federal Magistrate Judge Denies ‘Vast Expansion’ Of Copyright Case

    TRENTON, N.J. — A request to add more than 320 copyrighted works to existing copyright infringement litigation was largely denied Dec. 6 by a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey, who said the proposed amendments would be prejudicial.

  • December 01, 2023

    AI Music Copyright Defendant Says Tennessee Jurisdiction Strikes Wrong Beat

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a motion to dismiss, artificial intelligence company Anthropic PBC told a federal court in Tennessee that a copyright suit was a “negotiating tactic disguised as a federal court complaint” with no connection to the jurisdiction and that at the very least, the action should be transferred to California, where almost all of the parties reside.

  • November 30, 2023

    In California Copyright Case, Decision To Strike Expert Testimony Revisited

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in California on Nov. 29 said his recent decision to strike the expert testimony of a copyright damages expert witness was error, in a blow to infringement defendants that include The Walt Disney Co.

  • November 30, 2023

    In GitHub AI Copyright Suit, Parties Told To Meet, Confer Not Move To Compel

    SAN FRANCISCO — While a California federal court mulls a second round of motions from OpenAI Inc., GitHub Inc. and Microsoft Corp. seeking dismissal of claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to allegations of improper attribution in the development of an artificial intelligence tool, a magistrate judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery responses in favor of a directive for the parties to meet and confer about discovery disputes.

  • November 28, 2023

    Music Publisher, Licensor Ask High Court To Reject Discovery Rule In Copyright Suits

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Section 507(b) of the Copyright Act does not provide for application of the discovery rule to permit claims for retrospective relief for copyright infringement that occurred more than three years prior to filing suit, a music publishing firm and a licensing company tell the U.S. Supreme Court in their Nov. 27 opening merits brief, asking the high court to overturn an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling allowing use of the discovery rule.

  • November 28, 2023

    Biotech Company Can’t Shake Copyright Claim Over Dodo Bird Drawing

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Nov. 27 recommended that a company that has raised more than $150 million in its effort to bring the dodo back from extinction face allegations that it infringed an artist’s copyrighted rendering of the legendary flightless bird.

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