Not All the Plaintiff “Desires”: Only One Statutory Damages Award Available

Written by Aaron D. Johnston On February 2, 2021, the Ninth Circuit issued Desire, LLC v. Manna Textiles, Inc., 2021 WL 345583 (9th Cir. 2021), holding that where one upstream infringer was jointly and severally liable with various downstream infringers (who were not jointly and severally liable with each other) in three distinct infringing distribution chains, plaintiff could only be awarded one statutory award rather … Continue reading Not All the Plaintiff “Desires”: Only One Statutory Damages Award Available

Bursting the [Red]Bubble? Northern District of California Considers Online Retailer’s Scope of Liability for Copyright and Trademark Infringement

Written by Lillian Lee On January 28, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California addressed an online retailer’s liability for copyright and trademark infringement arising out of its users’ submissions.  Atari Interactive, Inc. v. Redbubble, Inc., Case No. 4:18-cv-03451.  The court on cross-motions for summary judgment deferred on most issues, holding that Plaintiff Atari Interactive, Inc. (“Atari”) could proceed on some … Continue reading Bursting the [Red]Bubble? Northern District of California Considers Online Retailer’s Scope of Liability for Copyright and Trademark Infringement

Another COVID-19 Surprise: Important New Trademark and Copyright Legislation Buried In Spending and Relief Package

Written by Marissa B. Lewis Yesterday, Congress’s omnibus spending and COVID-19 relief bill, H.R. 133, was signed into law.  Buried in the legislation are two new acts that potentially have sweeping implications for intellectual property owners.  The Trademark Modernization (“TM”) Act and the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (“CASE”) Act introduce measures that are poised to significantly impact the way that trademark and copyright owners … Continue reading Another COVID-19 Surprise: Important New Trademark and Copyright Legislation Buried In Spending and Relief Package

No Safe Harbor: Online Music Streaming Mixtape Platform is Liable for Copyright Infringement That Occurred Before Registering a DMCA Agent

Written by Albina Gasanbekova In Atlantic Recording Corp., et al. v. Spinrilla, LLC, et al., 1:17-cv-00431-AT (N.D. Ga. Nov. 30, 2020), a federal district court ruled that an online streaming provider cannot invoke the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to avoid liability for infringing uploads occurring before the provider met the requisite criteria for such protection. Spinrilla.com (“Spinrilla”) proclaims that it … Continue reading No Safe Harbor: Online Music Streaming Mixtape Platform is Liable for Copyright Infringement That Occurred Before Registering a DMCA Agent

Deepfakes and Rights for the Dead: New York Adds a Post Mortem Publicity Right and Penalizes Sexually Explicit Deepfakes

Written by Timothy M. Carter On Monday, November 30, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation (S5959D / A.5605-C, which we’ll refer to as the “Statute”) establishing, among other things, a new post-mortem “right of publicity.”  We explain here the key points to know about the new law. New York’s new post-mortem right is similar to the existing right of publicity protections … Continue reading Deepfakes and Rights for the Dead: New York Adds a Post Mortem Publicity Right and Penalizes Sexually Explicit Deepfakes

Producers of Hustlers Hustle Up a Win in Lawsuit: SDNY Dismisses Claims for Invasion of Privacy and Defamation in Barbash v. STX Financing

Written by Leo M. Lichtman Earlier this month, the Southern District of New York gave its stamp of approval to the hit film Hustlers, when it dismissed an action for invasion of privacy and defamation brought by Samantha Barbash, the real-life ringleader of an illegal conspiracy that influenced the film.  In its order of dismissal, the court provided important guidance on New York’s invasion of … Continue reading Producers of Hustlers Hustle Up a Win in Lawsuit: SDNY Dismisses Claims for Invasion of Privacy and Defamation in Barbash v. STX Financing

‘Big Litigants Don’t Cry’: Ninth Circuit Finds That Musical About Four Seasons Used Only Unprotected Facts

Written by Timothy M. Carter On September 8, 2020 in Corbello v. Valli, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed the principle that copyright law does not protect facts and that authors who characterize their statements as fact are estopped from claiming that the statements were actually fiction.  974 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 2020).  The Court’s opinion reaffirms basic principles that have not recently come up in Ninth … Continue reading ‘Big Litigants Don’t Cry’: Ninth Circuit Finds That Musical About Four Seasons Used Only Unprotected Facts

Copyright Preemption Remix – The Second Circuit Finds Implied Preemption of Right of Publicity Claim Relating to Remixes on Mixtape

Written by Elaine K. Kim and Elaine Nguyen The Second Circuit recently issued an important decision, In re Jackson, No. 19-480, — F.3d —, 2020 WL 4810706 (2d Cir. Aug. 19, 2020), in which it held that a state law right of publicity claim was barred on the ground of implied copyright preemption.  While implied preemption—also known as conflict preemption—has come up in other copyright … Continue reading Copyright Preemption Remix – The Second Circuit Finds Implied Preemption of Right of Publicity Claim Relating to Remixes on Mixtape

A Jewel of an Opinion or Missing the Mark? Second Circuit Holds that Costco’s Use of “Tiffany” May Be Descriptive

Written by Sofia Castillo and Marissa B. Lewis In Tiffany and Co et al v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 17-2798 (2d Cir., Aug. 17, 2020) the Second Circuit vacated and remanded for trial a 2017 decision issued by the Southern District of New York that awarded fine jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. over $21 million in damages arising from Costco’s use of the term “Tiffany” … Continue reading A Jewel of an Opinion or Missing the Mark? Second Circuit Holds that Costco’s Use of “Tiffany” May Be Descriptive

The Privilege to Speak One’s Mind: New York Broadens Its Anti-SLAPP Statute

Written by Timothy M. Carter The broad speech protections provided by the First Amendment are emblematic of a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open[.]”  New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 269–70 (1964).  While this unfettered commitment to free speech may shield a speaker from the chill of liability, practically speaking, it often … Continue reading The Privilege to Speak One’s Mind: New York Broadens Its Anti-SLAPP Statute