Digital Media

Capitol Records v. MP3tunes: Viacom v. YouTube Causes Court to Reconsider Ruling, Send Parties to Trial

Southern District of New York Reconsiders “Music Locker” Case in Light of Intervening DMCA Decision

In a decision that is largely favorable to copyright owners, Judge Pauley of the Southern District of New York granted in part a motion by plaintiffs EMI, Inc. and fourteen other record companies (together, “EMI”) requesting reconsideration of its 2011 decision in Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3tunes, LLC, which dismissed most of EMI’s contributory copyright infringement claims against music search and “locker” service MP3tunes. While reconsideration is very unusual, Judge Pauley found that the Second Circuit’s intervening decision in Viacom International, Inc. v. Youtube, Inc., merited re-assessment of the case under the Second Circuit’s stated standards in cases involving those seeking to avail themselves of the safe harbor provided in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information about the Viacom decisions, see our previous analysis here and here. Continue reading

Padmapper Case: Craigslist Permitted to Proceed Against Republishers of Its Content

Court suggests a "click" could constitute a writing for purposes of granting an exclusive license

In Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc. et al., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California refused to dismiss many of the claims brought by Craiglist against several republishers of its user content based in part on its broad terms of use, turning on whether user content was exclusive to the online classified ad company. This case highlights the importance of carefully crafted language presented to users when accessing a website that can be used to support copyright, trademark and computer fraud claims against competitors. Continue reading

Eleanor M. Lackman Authors Amicus Brief on Behalf of Copyright Alliance in Aereokiller Case

CDAS Partner Eleanor M. Lackman authored an amicus brief on behalf of the Copyright Alliance in the Ninth Circuit case Fox Television Stations v. Aereokiller. In the brief, Ms. Lackman argues on behalf of The Copyright Alliance that The Copyright Alliance argues in the brief that district judge George Wu was correct in granting an injunction against Aereokiller, a service that provides unlicensed broadcast television over the internet for a fee. Ms. Lackman writes: Continue reading

YouTube Stays Safe under DMCA “Safe Harbor”

Southern District of New York Rules YouTube Protected by DMCA

For the second time in three years, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York determined, in Viacom v. YouTube, that YouTube qualified for and was shielded from copyright infringement liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Continue reading

CDAS Client 10X Management Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek

CDAS Partner Joshua B. Sessler’s client 10X Management is featured in a great story in Bloomberg Businessweek. 10X represents top freelance software programmers, pairing them with Silicon Valley companies, negotiating their salaries, and helping to manage their finances. Continue reading

Southern District Not Buying Digital Music Marketplace

“Reseller” ReDigi Rebuffed by New York Judge

Founding executive editor of Wired Magazine Kevin Kelly once observed that, at its core, the Internet is the world’s largest copying machine and that the digital economy has been built on a stream of copies. Unfortunately for the hopes of digital music reseller ReDigi, Judge Sullivan of New York’s Southern District agreed, granting Capitol Records’ motion for summary judgment late last month. Continue reading

Ora TV Buys Stick Figure Productions

Ora TV, the digital network backed by Carlos Slim, today announced that it has purchased CDAS client Stick Figure Productions, a specialist in documentaries and unscripted television production. Stick Figure, represented by CDAS partner Frederick P. Bimbler, has produced over 250 hours of television for more than 40 networks including: “American Gypsies,” “Repossessed” and “Amish: Out of Order” (Nat Geo), “Family Bonds” (HBO), “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” (Style), “Amish in the City” (UPN), “#1 Single” (E!) and the digital series “The Biz,” produced with Lyor Cohen for Warner Music and AOL. Its films include “Devil’s Playground,” “Reporter,” “No One Dies in Lily Dale” and “Unraveled” (directed and produced by CDAS Partner Marc H. Simon). Continue reading

WNET v. Aereo: Split Appellate Panel Rules That “Remote-Storage DVR” Decision Insulates Provider of Internet Streaming from Liability

On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit handed down a 2-1 decision affirming a lower court’s ruling that a broadcast television retransmission system was unlikely to be liable for copyright infringement due to the Second Circuit’s holding in Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2008) (commonly referred to as the Cablevision decision). WNET v. Aereo, Inc., Nos. 12-2786-cv & 12-2807-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 1, 2013). The Aereo ruling deals a blow to the standard cable licensing model and may have impacts beyond television distribution alone. While a similar case pending in the Ninth Circuit will provide a better understanding of how the legal landscape surrounding retransmission of television content may change, and while the case involved a preliminary injunction rather than findings on a full record, it is important to understand the underpinnings and messages from the Aereo decision. As the Aereo court itself noted, technology companies are paying attention to these cases – and developing accordingly. Continue reading

Associated Press v. Meltwater: Associated Press Scores Significant Copyright Victory

Southern District of New York rules news article “scraping” not fair use

The Associated Press scored a significant victory this past week in a case indicating that the scales may be beginning to tip in favor of content owners in the battle over online copyright infringement. In Associated Press v. Meltwater, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted plaintiff The Associated Press’s (“AP”) motion for summary judgment with one exception, while denying defendant Meltwater U.S. Holdings, Inc.’s (“Meltwater”) equivalent motion. Most significantly, the court, in a 90-page opinion, held that Meltwater’s practice of “scraping” the internet and offering excerpts of news stories through its “Global Media Monitoring” service does not constitute fair use. Continue reading

FTC Issues New Guideline Report for Online and Mobile Advertising Disclaimers

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued new guidelines this week for media outlets, advertisers, brands, celebrity brand spokespeople and other parties advertising products online. The report, titled “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising,” builds upon the FTC’s previous report on digital marketing practices, issued in 2000. In addition to emphatically clarifying that the FTC’s jurisdiction applies as much to the “wide spectrum of online activities” as it does to offline advertisements, the report provides useful guidance regarding the placement of effective limitations and qualifications on advertising claims and the “clear and conspicuous” standard that governs required disclosures. Continue reading