National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences v. Multimedia System Design d/b/a “Crowdsource the Truth, 20-cv-7269 (VEC), SDNY July 20, 2021

Hollywood Reporter coverage when suit was filed.

Defendant “produces video content that, inter alia, traffics in wild conspiracy theories” (now there’s a finding of fact in a judicial decision you don’t see every day). Defendant distributed a video that used an image of the EMMY Award statuette holding a COVID-19 virus “as part of a video honoring countries that downplayed the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.” No comment.

Plaintiff, owner of trademark and copyright in the EMMY statuette, sues for TM infringement and dilution, and copyright infringement.

On 12(b)(6), Defendant moves to dismiss on grounds of de minimis copyright infringement, copyright fair use, trademark fair use, and absence of trademark confusion. It brought a Anti-SLAPP counterclaim, as well as counterclaims for declaratory judgment and misuse of the DMCA. Plaintiff moves to dismiss the counterclaims.

In a methodical decision discussing all factors in the copyright fair use, trademark dilution, and likelihood of confusion tests, the court denies all of defendant’s motion, and grants plaintiff’s motion dismissing the requests for “mirror image” declaratory relief.


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