Mealey's Copyright

  • October 10, 2023

    R&B Singer Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Claims In New York

    NEW YORK — Allegations by a music label and manager of musical artists that an R&B singer breached his contract will proceed, but the musician is entitled to dismissal of claims of copyright infringement leveled in connection with artwork used at live performances, a federal judge in New York ruled.

  • October 09, 2023

    5th Circuit Grants Panel Rehearing, Remands To Stay Indemnification Issue

    NEW ORLEANS — Granting insureds and underlying claimants’ joint petition for panel rehearing, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 6 held that determination of a commercial property insurer’s duty to indemnify under one policy should be deferred pending final resolution of an underlying Texas action alleging that the strip club insureds used 16 professional models’ likeness for advertising campaigns without their consent.

  • October 06, 2023

    IP Exclusion Bars Coverage For Misappropriation Of Likeness Claim, Panel Affirms

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Oct. 5 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for a lawsuit brought against its insured, finding that the policy’s intellectual property exclusion bars coverage for the underlying misappropriation of likeness claim.

  • October 04, 2023

    Portions Of Expert Report In Ohio Copyright Case Will Be Stricken

    CLEVELAND — Although rejecting a copyright owner’s assertion that a defense expert’s rebuttal was untimely, a federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Oct. 3 agreed that the rebuttal makes improper legal arguments about the two-step substantial similarity test employed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • October 02, 2023

    Supreme Court Rebuffs Question On Direct Copyright Liability For Online Streaming

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 denied certiorari to a group of music publishers that sought clarification over whether direct infringement liability for making copyrighted materials available for online download and streaming fell to the individual that ordered the infringing acts or to the parties who “pressed the button,” in response to the directive, to make the works available to the public.

  • September 29, 2023

    Copyright Holders Opposing Dismissal Say AI Companies Want To ‘Rewrite’ Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of copyright holders including comedian Sarah Silverman filed a brief opposing OpenAI Inc. and affiliated companies’ motion to dismiss their putative class action for copyright infringement, urging the court to reject OpenAI’s “misleading and self-serving reframing of the U.S. Copyright Act” and contending that its use of their works to train its ChatGPT AI program infringed on their copyrights.

  • September 29, 2023

    High Court To Take Up Question Of Time-Bar On Copyright Damages

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a case in which even the respondents acknowledge a circuit split, the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 29 announced that it will decide whether copyright holders may seek damages outside the three-year statute of limitations provided for in federal copyright law.

  • September 28, 2023

    ‘Messy’ Facts In AI Legal Research Copyright Case Send Matter To Trial

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Because the facts remain “messy,” the bulk of a case alleging that Ross Intelligence Inc. improperly trained its artificial intelligence (AI) on copyrighted material owned by legal research platform Westlaw is heading to trial after a federal judge in Delaware denied a handful of summary judgment motions.

  • September 27, 2023

    Profits Unavailable To Plaintiff In Copyright Row Over Elevator Template

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 26 granted a defense motion for summary judgment in a copyright infringement action, concluding that the “plaintiff cannot evince a plausible causal connection between defendant’s profits and the alleged infringement.”

  • September 25, 2023

    Judge Relates Authors’ AI Suits Against Meta For Copyright Infringement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 22 brought a putative class action against Meta Platforms Inc. for copyright infringement in its training of its artificial intelligence software filed by authors including Michael Chabon into the docket of a similar suit filed by a group of writers including comedian Sarah Silverman, who had moved to relate the cases.

  • September 22, 2023

    Trademark Infringement Dispute Between Clothing Boutiques Is Reinstated

    CINCINNATI — A divided panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 said a federal judge in Kentucky wrongly dismissed allegations of trademark infringement leveled by a boutique children’s clothing designer but rightly ruled in favor of a defendant with regard to functionality of the plaintiff’s claimed trade dress.

  • September 21, 2023

    Best-Selling Fiction Writers Sue OpenAI For ‘Systematic Theft On A Mass Scale’

    NEW YORK — The Authors Guild and 17 of its members, who are best-selling fiction writers, filed a putative class complaint against OpenAI Inc. and related companies (OpenAI, collectively) in New York federal court, accusing the artificial intelligence research and deployment firm of “flagrant and harmful” infringement of their copyrighted works in the training of its large language models (LLMs) without obtaining licenses or permission.

  • September 21, 2023

    False Copyright Notice Case Dismissed In Pennsylvania On Jurisdiction Grounds

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that allegations of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against a record company that allegedly sent false copyright notices to and others will not proceed.

  • September 20, 2023

    Trump, Eddy Grant Argue Infringement Of ‘Electric Avenue’ In Tweeted Video

    NEW YORK — In competing summary judgment motions filed in New York federal court, former president Donald J. Trump and singer Eddy Grant dispute whether the inclusion of Grant’s song “Electric Avenue” in a campaign video posted to Trump’s Twitter account constituted fair use, with the parties also disagreeing as to whether the musician can maintain separate copyright infringement claims for the song’s composition and recording.

  • September 18, 2023

    Government Urges High Court To Uphold ‘Bedrock Principle’ Of Chevron Deference

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. secretary of Commerce, two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the government) urge the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 15 brief to not overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference in a challenge to fishery regulations that were upheld by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, writing that doing so could “cause disruption” to complex federal regulatory schemes.

  • September 14, 2023

    After Zillow Prevails In Copyright Case, Fee Award Partly Granted

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Sept. 13 agreed with Zillow Inc. that a photographer’s allegations of copyright infringement were so deficient that they justify an award of attorney fees under federal copyright law.

  • September 13, 2023

    D.C. Circuit: Publication Of Industry Standards Protected By Fair Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia correctly concluded that the noncommercial publication of industry standards for incorporation by reference into law cannot form the basis of a copyright infringement action, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 12.

  • September 13, 2023

    Award-Winning Writers Sue AI Developers For Unfairly Using Copyrighted Books

    SAN FRANCISCO — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, his wife and fellow author Ayelet Waldman and three other writers on Sept. 12 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Meta Platforms Inc. accusing it of copyright infringement and violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by integrating their copyrighted written works into a dataset it uses to train artificial intelligence software, days after they sued OpenAI for similar conduct.

  • September 12, 2023

    In Copyright Dispute By Photog, Claim For Indirect, Unrealized Profits Stricken

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York granted an art gallery and its owner partial summary judgment on Sept. 11 on a photographer’s request for indirect and unrealized profits attributable to the alleged infringement of his picture by artist Richard Prince.

  • September 08, 2023

    Injunction Entered In Florida Trademark, Copyright Dispute Over ‘Masha And The Bear’

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 7 adopted in full a Florida federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that the owner of copyrights and trademarks associated with the hit children’s television show “Masha and the Bear” be awarded a preliminary injunction while it proceeds with an infringement action against myriad online counterfeiters.

  • September 08, 2023

    Independent Publisher Beats Copyright Office On Appeal To D.C. Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Copyright Office’s demand that an independent publisher of rare and out-of-print books deposit physical copies of the books or face a fine represents an unconstitutional taking of property without compensation, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled.

  • September 07, 2023

    9th Circuit: Pinterest Entitled To Safe Harbor On Copyright Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — Because there is no dispute that algorithms and other processes employed by Pinterest for displaying content “alter user-uploaded content to facilitate access,” the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the rejection of copyright infringement claims by a graphic artist and photographer against the style and design sharing website.

  • September 05, 2023

    5th Circuit: Copyright Claims By Architect Were Correctly Rejected

    NEW ORLEANS — A real estate developer and others who prevailed on summary judgment in Texas federal copyright litigation prevailed again in an architect’s appeal of that ruling, with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that the parties’ contract granted the defendant an express, nonexclusive license to certain preliminary design schematics for a senior living facility.

  • August 31, 2023

    Copyright Office Seeks Comments On Way Forward With Artificial Intelligence

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Copyright Office on Aug. 30 issued a notice of inquiry seeking comments related to artificial intelligence and whether legislative or regulatory steps are necessary.

  • August 29, 2023

    AI Companies Say ‘Fair Use’ Protects Chatbot From Copyright Holders’ Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — OpenAI Inc. and affiliated companies that developed the ChatGPT AI program on Aug. 28 moved to dismiss the bulk of two putative class actions filed against them by writers and copyright holders including comedian Sarah Silverman, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to plead copyright infringement as OpenAI never distributed “derivative works” and was allowed under “fair use” to train its chatbot with large datasets of text.

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