Weekly Updates

  • Ninth Circuit holds that the First Amendment provides same legal protection to blogger as it does to journalist.  “The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities  …” Obsidian Finance v. Cox
  • EUs highest court holds that DRM circumvention is subject to a  “principal of proportionality” analysis. Techdirt summary here
  • Devlin Hartline explains Aereo in a Nutshell
  • The Copyright Alliance makes it very easy to send an email to your representatives in Congress — on the subject of Congress’s review of copyright law, or anything else. You Create It, You Own It
  • SDNY declines to dismiss Costco counterclaim asserting that “Tiffany” trademark has become generic. Tiffany v. Costco
  • SDNY Judge Cote’s 64 page decision denying Apple’s motion to stay the work of an external monitor in the e-book antitrust case, pending appeal.  Perhaps the funniest aspect of this decision is the judge’s discussion of Apple’s argument that the monitor (whose hourly rate is $1100/hr)  should be required to comply with Apple’s “Outside Service Provider Policy” and standard expense policy.
Read the full article
  • Massachusetts district court judge O’Toole denied a motion to dismiss copyright claims based in part on foreign publication, where plaintiff asserts that the foreign conduct stems from a domestic infringement (the “predicate act doctrine“). Palmer/Kane LLC v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing LLC
  • D.C. Circuit opinion in Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission, holding that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to impose net neutrality laws on companies
  • An interesting article in PetaPixel, discussing Getty Images and Agence France Presse’s motion to set aside a $1.2 million verdict obtained by Haitian photographer Daniel Morel for copyright infringement of Morel’s images of the aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake
  • Dow Jones has filed a “hot news” lawsuit against Ransquawk. Techdirt has the cease and desist letter and complaint here
  • The House Committee on the Judiciary continues its hearings on possible  copyright reform, based on technological developments. The focus this week was on the “making available” right.
Read the full article

MassLawBlog Update, Week Ending January 10, 2014

by Lee Gesmer on January 10, 2014

  • As the week was ending the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the broadcasters’ appeal in the Aereo copyright case . . .
  • . . . as well as Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies, which originated in federal court in Boston. The issue in Akamai is whether a company be found to have induced someone else to infringe on a patent, when neither one has directly infringed on patent rights. See my blog post on the CAFC’s fractured en banc decision in this case.
  • Aereo receives $34 million in new funding. This would seem to represent a failure of legal due diligence by the investors (IMHO), as well as extremely bad timing.
  • Infographic claims that MegaUpload had 1 billion users, 50M daily visitors and represented 4% of global Internet traffic
  • Studios Win again in Fight Over User Content: Safe Harbors” Not so Safe, Websites Findin GigaOm, by John Jeff Roberts (in other words, when it comes to the DMCA the worm appears to be turning).
Read the full article

MassLawBlog Updates, Week Ending January 3, 2014

by Lee Gesmer on January 3, 2014

  • As expected, The Authors Guild has filed a Notice of Appeal in the Google Books fair use copyright case
  • Southern District of New York Judge Abrams has certified an interlocutory appeal to the Second Circuit to determine whether the DMCA safe-harbor provisions apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and in addition “whether, under Viacom v. YouTube, a service provider’s viewing of a user-generated video containing all or virtually all of a recognizable, copyrighted song may establish ‘facts or circumstances’ giving rise to ‘red flag’ knowledge of infringement.”
  • The Tenth Circuit holds that a claim for violation of copyright right of distribution against library accrues (for purposes of three year statute of limitations) when the library lists dissertation in catalogue information system. Diversey v. Schmidley
  • N. D. Ill. judge holds that pre-1923 characters, character traits and other story elements from Sherlock Holmes stories are in public domain – Klinger v. Conan Doyle
  • A Look Back at Copyright Review in 2013, by Terry Hart at Copyright Alliance .
Read the full article