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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Copyright Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Copyright Legal News



Headline Copyright Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



Divided Supreme Court Clarifies Separability Test In Copyright Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In divided decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 ruled that a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection when the feature can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article and would qualify on its own or in some other tangible medium as a protectable pictorial, graphic or sculptural work (Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., No. 15-866, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Declines To Hear Case On DMCA Safe Harbor For Pre-1972 Recordings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe-harbor provisions apply to pre-1972 recordings will stand, as the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27 denied a group of record labels' petition for certiorari in their dispute with an online video-sharing service that they accused of infringing their copyrighted works (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2055).



TV Networks Prevail Before 9th Circuit In Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A service that captures copyrighted works broadcast over the air for online retransmission to paying subscribers without the consent of a copyright holder is not eligible for the compulsory license for "cable systems" provided for in Section 111 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 21 (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. Aereokiller LLC, No. 15-56420, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4999).



5th Circuit: Contributory Copyright Claim Barred In Seismic Data Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - In a ruling issued March 10, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the inapplicability of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., to extraterritorial conduct bars a contributory infringement claim when it is based upon the domestic authorization of entirely extraterritorial conduct (Geophysical Services Incorporated v. TGS-Nopec Geophysical Services, No. 15-20706, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4286).



9th Circuit Reinstates $450,000 Damage Award For Copyright Plaintiff
SAN FRANCISCO - A decision by jurors to award a sculptor $450,000 in actual damages stemming from the creation of seven knock-off sculptures was reinstated by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 (Donald Wakefield v. Igor Olenicoff, No. 15-55649, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3953).



VR Companies File Post-Verdict Motions In Trade Secrets Suit
DALLAS - Two virtual reality (VR) technology companies asked a federal judge in Texas on Feb. 23 to issue a permanent injunction and a monetary judgment in their favor after a jury found that four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - violated the terms of a nondisclosure agreement and engaged in false designation in connection with their use of the companies' proprietary information to develop certain VR technology (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).



Ohio Magistrate Won't Exclude Evidence As Sanction In Copyright Case
CLEVELAND - A copyright infringement plaintiff's request that evidence of expenses, deductions or allocations be excluded from the calculation of damages in connection with a defendant's alleged discovery abuses was denied March 7 by an Ohio federal magistrate judge (Design Basics LLC v. Petros Homes Inc., et al., No. 14-1966, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32066).



California Federal Judge Denies Cross-Motions On Copyright First-Sale Defense
SAN FRANCISCO - Competing motions for summary judgment on whether licensing agreements asserted in a third amended complaint (TAC) establish that disputed software is subject to the first-sale defense to allegations of copyright infringement were denied March 14 by a California federal judge (Microsoft Corp. v. A&S Electronics Inc., No. 15-3570, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36477).



Oklahoma Federal Judge Weighs In On Copyright Dispute Over Registrations
OKLAHOMA CITY - Allegations that a licensee exceed the terms of its license to use various photographs of its own equipment and property will proceed, in light of a March 10 ruling by an Oklahoma federal judge which denied, in part, a motion for summary judgment (David McNeese v. Access Midstream Partners LP, No. 14-503, W.D. Okla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34538).



5th Circuit: Volitional Conduct Needed For Direct Copyright Infringement
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in granting a defendant summary judgment on the question of direct copyright infringement because the judge properly found an absence of volitional conduct, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 27 (BWP Media USA, et al. v. T&S Software Associates, No. 16-10510, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5340).



Indiana Federal Judge Says Copyright Claims Not Time-Barred
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Efforts by a copyright infringement defendant to obtain summary judgment were unsuccessful on March 24 when an Indiana federal judge found that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014), did not change the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' "discovery rule" for determining when an allegation of infringement has accrued (Design Basics LLC v. Westport Homes of Fort Wayne Inc., et al., No. 16-170, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43060).



Panel: Architect Did Not Have 'Deemed Allowed' Claim That Constitutes Res Judicata
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 24 denied an architect's appeal seeking to reverse a ruling in favor of a home builder's insurer in a breach of contract dispute arising from an underlying $63,471,000 copyright infringement dispute, rejecting the architect's argument that an unobjected-to proof of claim in a bankruptcy case should be allowed and should become a final judgment when the bankruptcy case is closed (Kipp Flores Architects, LLC v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 16-20255, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5241).



Magistrate Criticizes Discovery Responses In Copyright Case, Scolds Entire District
NEW YORK - In a Feb. 28 ruling, a New York federal magistrate judge not only found a copyright and trademark defendant's discovery responses to be noncompliant with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34, he also took the opportunity to criticize attorneys throughout the district for continually failing to comply with December 2015 amendments to the rule (James H. Fischer v. Stephen T. Forrest Jr., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01304 and 1:14-cv-01307, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28102).



Manufacturer Asks Supreme Court To Decide If Copyright Act Preempts State Law Claim
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A manufacturer of butterfly valves on March 8 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether Section 301(a) of the Copyright Act preempts state law claims relating to ideas expressed in tangible media (Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts Inc., et al., No. 16-1085, U.S. Sup.).



Musician Asks High Court To Decide Claim Preclusion Use In Copyright Lawsuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A musician in a Feb. 20 petition for writ of certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to answer if "claim preclusion, a non-statutory defense is available without restriction to bar all remedies for civil copyright claims filed within the three-year statute of limitations prescribed by Congress, [17 U.S. Code Section 507(b)], 17 U.S.C. § 507(b)" (Syl Johnson v. UMG Recordings Inc., et al., No. 16-1052, U.S. Sup.).



Record Labels Say Split Exists On If DMCA Immunity Applies For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - There is a split between federal and state courts on whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S. Code Section 512(c), provides for internet service providers also apply to sound recordings from before 1972, record labels argue in their March 7 reply brief with the U.S. Supreme Court (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).



Accused File-Sharer Calls Declaratory Judgment Counterclaim Useful
CINCINNATI - Even though a copyright holder dismissed its infringement claim against him, a man accused of downloading adult movies tells the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 10 reply brief that his declaratory judgment counterclaim should proceed because a continued threat of liability exists (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).



Software Support Firm Appeals $41.2M Jury Verdict In Oracle Copyright Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Appealing a $41.2 million jury verdict in a copyright infringement suit, a software support company argues in a March 10 reply brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that licenses by Oracle USA Inc. "expressly authorize third-party support and the copies necessary to provide it" and that it was authorized access to download support materials (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc. and Seth Ravin, Nos. 16-16-832 & 16-16905, 9th Cir.).



Washington Federal Jury: Zillow Infringed Copyrights, Owes $8.2 Million
SEATTLE - Following an eight-day trial, a Washington federal jury on Feb. 9 deemed Zillow Inc. a direct and contributory infringer of 28,125 images belonging to a photography studio (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.).



2nd Circuit Remands Dispute Over Pre-1972 Works, Orders Dismissal
NEW YORK - A December 2016 holding by the New York Court of Appeals that there is no right of public performance for creators of pre-1972 sound recordings under New York common law is determinative of claims that the subscription radio service Sirius XM Radio Inc. committed copyright infringement, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 16 (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., No. 15-1164, 2nd Cir., Court, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2770).



Sua Sponte Rejection Of Copyright Claims Reversed By 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A decision by a California federal judge to grant, sua sponte, summary judgment on behalf of myriad fashion industry defendants accused of infringing copyrighted textile designs was reversed by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 (Acmet Inc. v. The Wet Seal Inc., et al., No. 15-55928, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2682).



California Federal Judge: Plaintiff Not Barred From Calling Products Similar
LOS ANGELES - A defense motion in limine seeking to prevent a plaintiff from referring to an allegedly infringing jewelry line as "similar" to a jewelry line made by the plaintiff was denied Feb. 6 by a California federal judge (Brighton Collectibles LLC v. Believe Production Inc., No. 15-579, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16594).



9th Circuit: Computer Program Copyright Does Not Extend To Program Output
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected claims by the owner of a copyrighted computer-aided design (CAD) program that its copyright extends to images and files produced by the program, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 9 (Design Data Corp. v. Unigate Enterprise Inc., et al., Nos. 14-16701, No. 14-17317, 9th. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2333).



New York Federal Judge Denies Effort To Add Copyright Claim
NEW YORK - International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. on Feb. 6 won summary judgment on allegations that it committed breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; in the same ruling, a New York federal judge agreed with a New York federal magistrate judge that the plaintiff in the case should not be granted leave to add a claim of copyright infringement against IBM (MPI Tech A/S v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 15-4891, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16432).



District Of Columbia Federal Judge Awards $3 Million In Copyright Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a December ruling that Poland's national public television broadcasting company committed copyright infringement, a District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 14 ordered the defendant to pay $3.06 million in damages (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20465).



Judge Dismisses Software Diagnostic Hacking Claims For Lack Of Jurisdiction
DETROIT- A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion filed by the CEO of an electronic company and a Chinese corporation to dismiss claims for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over them because their conduct did not constitute purposeful availment (Ford Motor Co., et al. v. Autel Us Inc., et al., No. 14-13760, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19595).



New York Magistrate Judge: Deny Sanctions In Copyright, Trademark Case
NEW YORK - A request for sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1927 by a prevailing copyright and trade dress infringement defendant should be denied, according to a Feb. 13 ruling by a New York federal magistrate judge, who found that plaintiff's counsel did not commit fraud upon by failing to quickly correct perjured depositions (Crown Awards Inc. v. Trophy Depot Inc., No. 15-1178, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20393).



Utah Federal Judge: No Copyright Preemption On Conspiracy Claim
SALT LAKE CITY - Allegations that a counterclaim defendant interfered with a counterclaimant's contractual rights and prospective business relations are sufficient to defeat the counterclaim defendant's effort to invoke copyright preemption, a Utah federal judge ruled Feb. 21 (Advanced Recovery Systems LLC v. American Agencies LLC, No. 13-283, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24001).



California Federal Magistrate Denies Motion To Compel In Pokemon Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A Canadian cloud-based e-commerce platform will not need to respond to a subpoena sought by The Pokemon Company International Inc. in connection with Pokemon's allegations a retailer committed copyright infringement, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 22 (The Pokemon Company International Inc. v. Shopify Inc., No. 16-80272, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24987).



Home Builders: High Court Should Deny Review Of Intervest In Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a dispute over an architectural floor plan, home builders in a Feb. 6 brief respond that the U.S. Supreme Court should not consider whether Intervest Construction Inc. v. Canterbury Estate Homes Inc. should be overruled because architectural works are protectable under the Copyright Act but that protection is limited by statute (Home Design Services Inc. v. Turner Heritage Homes Inc., et al., No. 16-858, U.S. Sup.).



Oracle Appeals Java Fair Use Ruling To Federal Circuit In Google Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 10 appellant brief in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Oracle America Inc. asserts error in a trial court's finding that Google Inc.'s copying of certain elements of its Java technology constituted fair use, arguing that the court failed to consider Google's misrepresentations and harm to the Java market (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).



Video-Streaming Firm's Filtering Service Violates DMCA, Studios Tell 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Several movie studios tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 8 appellee brief that a video-streaming service provider blatantly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by circumventing the technological protection measures (TPMs) on DVD and Blu-ray copies of their movies to offer edited versions to customers, also arguing that the defendant's defenses under the Family Movie Act (FMA) are incompatible with that statute's purposes (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).



University, Publishers Argue Fair Use In Electronic Works Posting In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - On the second appeal regarding the alleged copyright infringement of educational materials by electronic posting of their excerpts by Georgia State University (GSU) faculty, the university argues in a Feb. 6 appellee brief that a trial court judge correctly determined fair use of the works at issue by finding that the postings had not led to market substitution of the works (Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Georgia State University, et al., No. 16-15726, 11th Cir.).



Amicus Curiae Filers Support Supreme Court Review Of Intervest In Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a dispute over an architectural floor plan, amicus curiae filers who are involved in the development, creation and marketing of "architectural works" in a Feb. 6 brief argue in support of the U.S. Supreme Court considering a petition to decide if Intervest Construction Inc. v. Canterbury Estate Homes Inc. should be overruled in light of conflicting precedent from other appellate courts, which hold that architectural works are entitled to the same protection as other copyrightable, original works under the Federal Copyright Act (Home Design Services Inc. v. Turner Heritage Homes Inc., et al., No. 16-858, U.S. Sup.).



Video-Sharing Site Opposes Review On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A video-sharing website argues in a Feb. 16 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should not decide whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S. Code Section 512(c), provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972 (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).



VidAngel Tells 9th Circuit Studios Do Not Have Exclusive Streaming Rights
SAN FRANCISCO - Defending its right to stream "filtered" copies of movies for its customers in a Feb. 22 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, VidAngel Inc. argues that it has not violated any of the movie studio plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).



$500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).



Copyright Claim Barred By Collateral Estoppel, 11th Circuit Affirms
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge's March 2016 grant of a motion by Tyler Perry for judgment on the pleadings with regard to allegations the filmmaker infringed a copyrighted book was not erroneous, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 19 (Terri Strickland v. Tyler Perry, No. 16-11601, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 959).



11th Circuit: Award Of Fees In Copyright Case Not Abuse Of Discretion
ATLANTA - A decision by a Florida federal judge to award $13,961 in attorney fees under Section 505 of the Copyright Act will stand in light of a Jan. 18 ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Dan Pronman, et al. v. Brian Styles, et al., No. 16-12157, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 824).



11th Circuit: Reduction Of Fees In Copyright Case Was Abuse Of Discretion
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge abused his discretion when awarding a prevailing copyright infringement plaintiff just 4.9 percent of the attorney fees and 6.8 percent of the costs it requested in connection with a successful copyright infringement case, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Yellow Pages Photos Inc. v. Ziplocal LP, No. 16-11868, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1197).



Texas Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Daily Newsletter Dispute
HOUSTON - Each issue of a daily newsletter constitutes a single work, and an annual subscription does not constitute a compilation under the Copyright Act, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 24 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP and KA Fund Advisors LP, No. 14-1903, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9426).



Lanham Act Claims Over Political Ad Dismissed, Copyright Claims Survive
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 31 refused to decide the question of whether inclusion of an altered, copyrighted song in a 30-second advertisement critical of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold qualifies as a fair use under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 107, deeming such a determination inappropriate in response to a motion to dismiss (Roger Nichols, et al. v. Club for Growth Action, No. 16-220, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12820).



Copyright Dispute Over Home Dismissed By New York Federal Judge
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Allegations of copyright infringement levied in connection with a "look-a-like" home were dismissed Jan. 20 without leave to amend by a New York federal judge (Seth Fortgang, et al. v. Pereiras Architects Ubiquitous LLC, et al., No. 16-3754, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8175).



9th Circuit Finds Usenet Provider Not Liable For Infringement Of Adult Pictures
PASADENA, Calif. - An adult entertainment site operator failed to establish that a usenet provider acted volitionally in or obtained any direct financial benefit from its users' infringing of the site's copyrighted images, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 23, affirming dismissal of direct and indirect infringement claims against the defendant (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).



Indiana Federal Judge Dismisses Amended Copyright Complaint
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Allegations that a school copied a copyrighted educational model without consent were dismissed Jan. 6 by an Indiana federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. National Heritage Academies, No. 16-183, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2071).



7th Circuit Rejects Copyright Claims Against Amazon.com
CHICAGO - In what it deemed a "very unusual case," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 6 affirmed dismissal of a dispute in which Amazon.com Inc. was accused of permitting third parties to advertise for sale six counterfeit books in violation of the Copyright Act (Reginald Hart v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-2793, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 256).



5th Circuit Affirms: State Law Claim Preempted By Copyright Act
NEW ORLEANS - In a Jan. 11 ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Texas federal judge's determination that a state law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation - levied in connection with allegations of stolen instructional drawings - is preempted by the Copyright Act (Ultraflo Corporation v. Pelican Worldwide, et al., No. 15-20084, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 509).



Porn Firm Tells 6th Circuit Downloader Failed To Show Prejudice In Dismissal
CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).



Majority: No Coverage For Legal Expenses Incurred Without Insurer's Approval
ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 that an insurer has no duty to pay an insured's $405,989 in pre-tender legal expenses incurred in defending a copyright infringement lawsuit, affirming a lower court's finding that Florida's claims administration statute (CAS) does not control because the insurer relied on an exclusion and not a coverage defense in its refusal to pay the expenses (EmbroidMe.com, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-10616, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 368).



Home Design Company Seeks High Court Review Of Intervest In Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a dispute over an architectural floor plan, a home design company asks the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 21 petition for certiorari to consider whether Intervest Construction Inc. v. Canterbury Estate Homes Inc. (554 F.3d 914, 919 [11th Cir. 2008]) should be overruled in light of conflicting precedent from other appellate courts, which hold that architectural works are entitled to the same protection as other copyrightable, original works under the Federal Copyright Act (Home Design Services Inc. v. Turner Heritage Homes Inc., et al., No. 16-858, U.S. Sup.).



9th Circuit Hears Arguments On Copyright Infringement Against Urban Outfitters
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Jan. 13 in a copyright infringement lawsuit over whether a trial judge erred in finding that Urban Outfitters Inc. and a department store infringed a copyrighted fabric design and whether a jury's finding of willfulness was supported by substantial evidence (Unicolors Inc. v. Urban Outfitters Inc., et al., No. 15-55507, 9th Cir.).



Supplement Seller Seeks Review On If Influence Shows Control For Vicarious Liability
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A seller of nutritional supplement products on Jan. 24 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if an appellate court improperly held "that indirect influence is sufficient to demonstrate the required control for vicarious liability and that no proof is needed that the claimed infringements act as a draw for customers" (Stemtech International Inc. f/k/a Stemtech Healthsciences Inc. v. Andrew Paul Leonard d/b/a APL Microscopic, No. 16-928, U.S. Sup.).



Music Industry Groups Support Review In Dispute On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Works
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Music industry groups argue in a Jan. 17 amicus curiae brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up a petition from a group of record labels asking for a review on whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972, which are governed by state law, rather than federal copyright law (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).



Video-Streaming Company Tells 9th Circuit Its Movie- Filtering Service Is Fair Use
SAN FRANCISCO - Appealing a trial court injunction preventing it from providing content-filtered copies of four movie studios' films to its customers, a video-on-demand (VOD) provider told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 27 brief that its services constitute fair use under the Copyright Act and are specifically protected by the Family Home Movie Act (FMA) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).