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For Lawyers Turned Video-Porn Mass Copyright Plaintiffs, Litigation May Not Pay

I didn’t think I’d have a chance to write another “what were they thinking” post only two weeks after the last one. But, here goes ….

I’ve written about Bittorrent swarm mass copyright suits in the past, but Monday’s decision by California federal district court judge Otis D. Wright tops everything that has come before. A lot of people have followed this case and similar cases filed by so-called “Prenda Law”Ingenuity 13 v. John Doe. In other words, the plaintiffs in this case have made a lot of people mad.*

*Techdirt is at or near the top of this lengthy list.

The Ingenuity 13 case has been dismissed, but on Tuesday the judge issued a withering sanctions decision in the case. Here is some of what he had to say.

The opening paragraph of the opinion sets the stage for the indictment that follows:

Plaintiffs have outmaneuvered the legal system.

Read the full article

Federal Judge Tells Redigi to Shut It Down

by Lee Gesmer on April 2, 2013

Federal Judge Tells Redigi to Shut It Down

As I reluctantly predicted last week, U.S District Court Judge Richard Sullivan has ruled that Redigi’s digital resale business is not protected by the first sale doctrine. His March 30, 2013 decision falls squarely in line with the arguments made by Capitol Records and rejects all of Redigi’s positions.

I have written quite a bit on this case (here and here), and there is nothing new or surprising in the court’s decision. The court described the issue before it as “the novel question . . . whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine.” In answering this question the court emphasized that because it is “a court of law and not a congressional subcommittee or technology blog, the issues are narrow, technical, and purely legal.” Indeed, the court hewed closely to the statute.… Read the full article

You know all those used music stores you used to love to go to back in the day when you bought music on CDs?  You could browse through used CDs and buy them for less than retail.  Maybe you still do (kudos to Deja Vu Records in Natick, Mass.).  Of course, you can do the same thing online.

The founders of Massachsetts-based Redigi figured, why can’t we create a marketplace that will allow people to do the same thing with their digital music files?  Or, as Redigi puts it: ” Sell your old songs legally – The world’s first used digital music marketplace – Buy used music insanely cheap”.  However, in starting this business Redigi may have run smack into the disconnect between the U.S. copyright statute and digital media.  And, it has been forced to defend against a full-on assault by the RIAA  (in the form of its apparent designee, Capitol Records).… Read the full article

Don’t Mess With Texas

by Lee Gesmer on May 14, 2010

Don’t Mess With Texas

I’ve written before about how generous juries in the federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas (EdTX) are to patent plaintiffs. (link).  After I wrote about this a year ago there was a feeling that this trend might be reversing itself. However, Johnson & Johnson’s $1.6 billion judgment against Abbott and i4i’s $200 million verdict against Microsoft last summer put an end to those thoughts.

So, when Apple, Sirius XM and others were recently sued for patent infringement in EdTX they quite naturally looked for a way out.  Massachusetts, they told the Texas district court, was a far better choice, particularly when you considered the fact that that the patent owner, a non-practicing entity, had set up a Texas company shortly before filing suit, and located its business in the offices of its Texas lawyers.

But, it’s not that easy.

After the EdTX trial court refused to transfer the case to Massachusetts, Apple and its co-defendants filed a “mandamus” with the Federal Circuit. … Read the full article