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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Copyright Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Copyright Legal News

Headline Copyright Legal News from LexisNexis®


California Federal Judge: Jokes Entitled To 'Thin' Copyright Protection
SAN DIEGO - Conan O'Brien and myriad other defendants associated with the "Conan" show on May 12 won a partial summary judgment that various copyrighted jokes O'Brien allegedly infringed are entitled only to "thin" protection, but in the same ruling, a California federal judge denied O'Brien summary judgment with regard to willfulness (Robert Alexander Kaseberg v. Conan O'Brien, et al., No. 15-1637, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72921).

Federal Circuit: Patent, Copyright, Trademark Claims Properly Rejected
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Washington federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations that Inc. infringes the intellectual property of others through its online marketplace and "Fulfillment by Amazon" service, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Inc., No. 16-1290, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8932).

11th Circuit Weighs In On Copyright Registration Requirement
ATLANTA - In a May 18 ruling, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded that copyright registration occurs when the Register of Copyrights registers a work, and not merely when an application for a registration is filed (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. LLC, No. 16-13726, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8766).

Indiana Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright Claims Over Educational Program
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Citing the existence of "many deficiencies" in a complaint for contributory copyright infringement, an Indiana federal judge on May 22 dismissed the action in a dispute over the "Transitioning Into Responsible Students" (TIRS) educational program (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. Bart Peterson, et al., No. 16-193, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77007).

Warner Bros. Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Over Show Song
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 1 agreed with Warner Bros. Entertainment and a co-defendant that a request for statutory damages and attorney fees stemming from the excerpted use of a copyrighted song in the intro to the show "Lucifer" fails as a matter of law because the work in question was unpublished at the time it was first used (Robert J. Marderosian, et al. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, et al., No. 17-1062, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66173).

Copyright, Lanham Act Claims Partly Dismissed In Dispute Over Bobblehead
SAN DIEGO - Allegations that the sellers of a Hillary Clinton bobblehead doll committed false advertising by falsely claiming an association with the Trump organization fail to plead proximate causation because the claims lack evidence of lost sales or reputational damage, a California federal judge ruled May 8 ( LLC v. Wright Brothers Inc., et al., No. 16-2790, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70050).

Artist's Wife's Testimony Excluded As Unreliable In Copyright Infringement Case
ATLANTA - A restaurant owner was awarded summary judgment in Georgia federal court on May 18 on an artist's copyright infringement claims over a drawing he did of the restaurant, with the artist also losing his bid to have his wife testify as an expert witness (Floyd Anthony Fey v. Panacea Management Group LLC, et al., No. 1:16-cv-2851, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75637).

New York Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Defendants In Music Row
NEW YORK - Myriad copyright infringement defendants won a summary judgment on May 30 from a New York federal judge that any liability for their appropriation of a spoken-word criticism of non-jazz music is barred by the doctrine of fair use (The Estate of James Oscar Smith, et al. v. Cash Money Records Inc., No. 14-2703, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82240).

Defendants Win Summary Judgment In Copyright Dispute Over Photographs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A student and his college accused of copyright infringement in connection with an assignment that made use of stock photography are entitled to summary judgment, a Tennessee federal judge ruled April 28 (TC Reiner v. Ryon Nishimori, et al., No. 15-241, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65070).

Trademark, Copyright Defendants Awarded $922,309 In Attorney Fees
LOS ANGELES - A trademark and copyright dispute over the phrase "Life is Beautiful" rejected on summary judgment due to a lack of similarity and a plaintiff's unclean hands yielded a $922,309 attorney fee award on May 23 by a California federal judge (Amusement Art LLC v. Life is Beautiful LLC, et al., No. 14-8290, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79135).

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Won't Reconsider Copyright Ruling
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Efforts by a defendant to secure reconsideration of a March order that adopted a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge's recommendation to deny summary judgment on a copyright infringement claim were unsuccessful on May 1 (Crestwood Membranes Inc. d/b/a i2M v. Constant Services Inc., No. 15-537, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66105).

Judge Overrules Plaintiff's Objections To Order In Trade Secrets Suit
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on May 2 overruled objections filed by a plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit in response to a federal magistrate judge's order allowing defendants to view certain confidential expert reports, finding that the plaintiff failed to show that the order was "clearly erroneous or is contrary to law" (Dresser-Rand Co. v. Schutte & Koerting Acquisition Co., et al., No. 12-184, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66424).

New York Federal Judge Retains Jurisdiction Over Copyright, Trademark Case
NEW YORK - Efforts by a defendant to obtain dismissal for lack of jurisdiction and improper venue of allegations that it infringed copyrighted and trademarked fine jewelry designs were rejected May 4 by a New York federal judge, who found that personal jurisdiction exists in the case (Verragio Inc. v. SK Diamonds, No. 16-6931, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68422).

Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Copyright Infringement Coverage Suit
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 2 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in coverage dispute arising from underlying copyright infringement claims, finding that the insured failed to connect its construction of copyright-infringing homes to its advertising (Highlands Holdings Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 16-14981, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7724).

Government Opposes Certiorari In Dispute Over YouTube Video Takedown
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 4 amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. government voiced its opposition to a YouTube user's petition for certiorari, opining that a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on good faith related to a copyright holder's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice does not conflict with existing case law, also stating that key issues regarding the copyright owner's "mental state" were not properly before the lower courts (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke Argue 'Blurred Lines' Does Not Infringe Gaye Song
SAN FRANCISCO - Even though musicians Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke admit to being inspired by the "groove" and "feel" of a 1977 Marvin Gaye song when writing their 2013 hit song "Blurred Lines," in an April 24 brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, they argue that a jury's finding of copyright infringement was improperly based on noncopyrightable musical elements and not on the song's lead sheet (Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Frankie Christian Gaye, et al., No. 15-56880, 16-55089 and 16-55626, 9th Cir.).

Abbott, Costello Heirs Assert 'Who's On First?' Copyright Interest To High Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an April 18 petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, heirs of Abbott and Costello assert their copyright interests in the legendary comedy duo's iconic "Who's on First?" routine, arguing that renewal of unitary copyrights in two films containing the routine preserved its copyright, which was ultimately transferred to them (TCA Television Corp., et al. v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 16-1258, U.S. Sup.).

Oracle, Google Square Off Before Federal Circuit In Fair Use Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal jury's finding in May 2016 that Google Inc.'s incorporation of the Java structure, sequence and organization (SSO) in its Android operating system was a fair use was proper and should not be disturbed, Google told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).

'Used' Digital Music Seller Tells 2nd Circuit It Makes No Infringing Copies
NEW YORK - In a May 19 reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a digital music reseller insists that it does not make infringing copies of "used" music files that it purchases from users of its service, asking the court to vacate a copyright infringement liability judgment against it (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. ReDigi Inc., et al., No. 16-2321, 2nd Cir.).

Sony Defends Attorney Fees To 1st Circuit In Dispute Over Ricky Martin Song
BOSTON - In a May 24 appellee brief to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Sony Corporation of America argues that a trial court properly deemed it the prevailing party and awarded it attorney fees in a songwriter's copyright infringement suit, in light of an arbitration clause that precluded the plaintiff from bringing such a suit (Luis Adrian Cortes-Ramos v. Sony Corporation of America, et al., No. 16-2441, 1st Cir.).

Songwriter Asks High Court To Review Authorship Dispute Over Usher Song
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A man who claims that he did not receive proper co-writing credit for a song that was adapted and recorded by recording artist Usher (a/k/a Usher Terry Raymond IV) filed a petition for certiorari on May 1, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to find that he was wrongly denied a determination of authorship by a trial court and an appeals court (Daniel Marino v. Usher [a/k/a Usher Terry Raymond IV], et al., No. 16-1332, U.S. Sup.).

New York Federal Judge Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Copyright Case
NEW YORK - In an April 17 ruling, a New York federal judge rejected a request by a plaintiff for intentional interference with contractual relations damages in connection with enforcement efforts by the agent for BMG Rights Management US LLC (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management US LLC and Rightscorp Inc., No. 16-5015, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58204).

Wisconsin Federal Judge Denies Motion Mid-Trial In Copyright Case
MADISON, Wis. - An infringement plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a defendant's assertion that two sets of copyrighted illustrations constitute a joint work was denied April 18 by a Wisconsin federal judge (Amy Lee Sullivan v. Flora Inc., No. 15-298, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58774).

Claims In Trade Secrets Suit Substantially Survive Dismissal Motion
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 17 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a company has properly pleaded its claims against a majority of the defendants in the action (Jorgensen & Co. v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59108).

Defaulting Web Host To Pay $62,624 In Damages, Fees On Copyright Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on April 21 recommended that a photographer be awarded $10,000 for each of five images infringed by web host Lycos Inc. - far less than the statutory maximum of $150,000 per infringed work originally sought in the case (Leif Skoogfors v. Lycos Inc., No. 16-2742, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61926).

New Legislation Proposes Changes To Register Of Copyrights Position
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bill that would render the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate was passed by a bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives on April 26 in a 378 to 48 vote.

Bill Tackles Transmission Of Sound Recordings Over Terrestrial Stations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on April 5 introduced a bill aimed at restoring broadcasting rights to copyright owners whose songs are transmitted by terrestrial radio stations.

9th Circuit Affirms: Publicity Rights Claim Preempted By Copyright
SAN FRANCISCO - An order that granted a special motion to strike a common-law right of publicity claim pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP statute was not erroneous because the claims are preempted by Section 301 of the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 5 (Patrick Maloney, et al. v. T3Media Inc., No. 15-55630, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5894).

California Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Infringement Defendant
LOS ANGELES - On the heels of a March 9 recommendation by a California federal magistrate judge that a copyright infringement plaintiff should be sanctioned for failure to comply with a discovery order, a California federal judge on March 31 granted a defendant partial summary judgment with regard to 11 of 12 allegedly infringing fabric designs (Urban Textile v. Rue 21 Inc. and Mark Edwards Apparel Inc., No. 14-8285, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49573).

9th Circuit Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Fabric Design Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Where two works share an extrinsic similarity so strong that the works are near duplicates, district courts may properly conclude that no reasonable juror could find a lack of substantial similarity in the works' overall concept and feel, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 3 (Unicolors Inc. v. Urban Outfitters Inc., No. 15-55507, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5675).

California Federal Judge: Concert Performances Not Part Of Copyright Claim
LOS ANGELES - Pop singer Katy Perry on April 3 prevailed in a dispute over her song "Dark Horse," when a California federal judge agreed that Perry's public performance of the work at concerts during her "Prismatic World Tour" cannot, at the summary judgment stage, form the basis of a copyright infringement claim (Marcus Gray, et al. v. Katy Perry, et al., No. 15-5642, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50803).

Ohio Federal Judge Partly Grants Judgment In Architectural Design Case
CLEVELAND - A declaratory judgment plaintiff-franchisee prevailed in part on its request for summary judgment on April 12, when an Ohio federal judge agreed that there is no direct evidence that it infringed copyrighted architectural works and that the copyright owner failed to demonstrate substantial similarity (Robert L. Stark Enterprises Inc. v. Neptune Design Group LLC, No. 16-264, N.D. Ohio; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55951).

9th Circuit Reverses Safe-Harbor Holding In Web Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Findings by a California federal judge that a copyright infringement defendant social media platform is entitled to safe-harbor immunity under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512(c), were reversed and remanded April 7 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Mavrix Photographs LLC v. LiveJournal Inc., No. 14-56956, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6028).

New York Federal Judge Largely Sides With Amazon In Copyright Case
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Citing the views of the U.S. Copyright Office, a New York federal judge on April 8 found that if a plaintiff's ambient songs are ultimately adjudged to be the same musical works as non-ambient songs, Inc. is not required to serve a copyright owner with additional notices of intent (NOIs) to obtain compulsory licenses (Yesh Music LLC, et al. v. Inc., et al., No. 16-1406, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54417).

Megaupload Executives Ask High Court To Hear Foreign Asset Forfeiture Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an April 7 petition for certiorari, former executives with now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over the U.S. government's application of laws governing the forfeiture of foreign-held assets by those deemed to be fugitives avoiding prosecution, arguing that their assets were wrongly seized in conjunction with a novel, untested theory of criminal copyright infringement (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).

HBO Tells 9th Circuit 'Ballers' Copyright Suit Was Properly Dismissed
SAN FRANCISCO - Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) and others connected with the television show "Ballers" argue in an April 3 Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals appellee brief that the series is not substantially similar to a copyrighted work of two California writers, seeking affirmance of a trial court order dismissing the infringement suit (Everette Silas, et al. v. Home Box Office Inc., et al., No. 16-56215, 9th Cir.).

Usenet Provider Opposes 9th Circuit Rehearing Over Vicarious Liability
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel correctly found that it was not liable for its users' posting of copyrighted adult pictures, a usenet service provider asserts in an April 10 brief opposing an adult entertainment firm's petition for rehearing, arguing that the panel applied the correct standard for determining vicarious liability (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).

Amici Urge 9th Circuit To Maintain Vicarious Copyright Liability Standard
PASADENA, Calif. - In an April 17 amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, four internet and technology organizations oppose an adult entertainment firm's bid for rehearing its copyright infringement suit against a usenet provider, arguing that the existing panel ruling identified the proper causal connection standard for determining vicarious liability in online and technological contexts (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).

Songwriter Appeals Sony's Attorney Fees Award In Copyright Suit To 1st Circuit
BOSTON - Despite rulings against him by a trial court and an appeals panel, a musician argues in an April 13 brief to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Sony Corporation of America was improperly awarded attorney fees because it did not prevail on the underlying copyright infringement claims since the prior rulings deferred adjudication on the merits to an arbitrator (Luis Adrian Cortes-Ramos v. Sony Corporation of America, et al., No. 16-2441, 1st Cir.).

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.).