After months of discussions, DC Comics, a unit of Time Warner’s Warner Bros., filed a lawsuit today against Los Angeles-based attorney Marc Toberoff in an attempt to protect rights to its lucrative “Superman” property.
Warner Bros. filed the suit in federal court in Los Angeles after months of trying and failing to settle with heirs of the “Superman” creators, whom Toberoff represents.
Ten songs but one album, one compilation, one statutory damage award.
Decision Bryant v Media Right
This is an interesting case. Plaintiff makes copyrighted blank forms that companies fill out when they make EDGAR filings with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act. Defendant downloads completed versions of the forms from EDGAR and sells them. Plaintiff sued for copyright infringement.
First, it seems that this is a case of first impression as to the interplay between the Exchange Act and the Copyright Act. After deciding that it is unlikely that the Exchange Act intended to gut all rights under the Copyright Act, just some of them, the Court goes on to deny a preliminary injunction. While Plaintiff made out a prima facie case of infringement, the Court notes that this is not going to be a slam-dunk case, but, importantly, Plaintiff was not able to make out a showing that it suffered irreparable harm from defendant selling completed copies of its form. Thus this would likely have turned out the same way post-Salinger.
Decision Intl Swaps v Socratek
Plaintiff owns rights in Damon Runyon’s work entitled “Madame la Gimp.” The movies “Lady For A Day” and “Pocketful of Miracles” were based on it. Plaintiff alleges that the movie “Singh Is Kinng” infringes.
Complaint Singh is King
Defendant “Doe 3,” whose identity is not known to plaintiffs Arista Records LLC et al., appeals from an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Glenn T. Suddaby, Judge, rejecting Doe 3’s objections to the denial by United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece of Doe 3’s motion (originally brought by other anonymous defendants) to quash a subpoena served on his Internet service provider to obtain information sufficient to disclose his identity. The magistrate judge ruled that defendants’ qualified First Amendment right of anonymity was outweighed by, inter alia, plaintiffs’ allegations that defendants were downloading and/or distributing music over the Internet in violation of plaintiffs’ copyrights and plaintiffs’ need for the information in order to enforce their rights. On appeal, Doe 3 contends principally that the allegations in the Complaint are not sufficient to overcome his First Amendment right of anonymity; in addition, he contends that the reference of his motion to the magistrate judge and the district judge’s review of the magistrate judge’s decision were procedurally flawed. Finding no merit in Doe 3’s contentions, we affirm.
After eBay, however, courts must not simply presume irreparable harm. See eBay, 547
U.S. at 393. Rather, plaintiffs must show that, on the facts of their case, the failure to issue an
injunction would actually cause irreparable harm. This is not to say that most copyright
plaintiffs who have shown a likelihood of success on the merits would not be irreparably harmed absent preliminary injunctive relief. As an empirical matter, that may well be the case, and the
historical tendency to issue preliminary injunctions readily in copyright cases may reflect just
WSJ Law Blog: “Google, Viacom Don’t Hold Back in Dueling Motions“:
We find pretty amusing this notion that a bunch of Viacom employees secretly uploaded hordes of their own copyrighted videos to YouTube in order to bolster their copyright lawsuit against YouTube’s parent company, Google.
We have no idea if it’s true, of course, but the allegation is out there, as of Thursday.
In dueling summary-judgment motions unveiled Thursday in the long-running, heated battle between Google and YouTube, some new intriguing allegations were revealed. Among them, that Viacom that Google’s YouTube unit had sought to exploit copyrighted works for profit, and, yes, that Viacom itself had secretly uploaded copyrighted clips it later demanded Youtube remove.
Ed note: In and of itself, a copyright owner may upload some of its own copyrighted content to a site not for sinister reasons but to test how easy it is to post such content, and to test the website’s response to a complaint. We don’t know what the circumstances were here, with certainty.