Category: infringment

A big week in copyright, Kirtsaeng, isoHunt, and Associated Press v MeltwaterA big week in copyright, Kirtsaeng, isoHunt, and Associated Press v Meltwater



Last week was a very eventful one in copyright law with three significant copyright rulings from US courts. The US Supreme Court ruled that importing genuine grey market works into the US does not infringe copyright. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling that the Canadian bitTorrent site isoHunt is liable for contributory copyright infringement. Last, a US District Court ruled that Meltwater’s controversial electronic news clipping service is liable for copyright infringement and is not protected by fair use doctrine.

In Kirtsaeng v John Wilely & Sons, Inc.

Change and the Copyright Modernization ActChange and the Copyright Modernization Act



Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, with a few exceptions, is now law with the publication of the Governor General Order in Council. The fourth attempt to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 succeeded where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.

A lot has changed since 2005 when Bill C-60 was first introduced. That Bill would have made a limited, but important, set of amendments. Its summary reminds us that it would have amended the “Copyright Act to implement the provisions of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, to clarify the liability of network service providers, to facilitate technology-enhanced learning and interlibrary loans, and to update certain other provisions of the Act.” 

ivi copyright injunction in the public interest says US Appeals Courtivi copyright injunction in the public interest says US Appeals Court



The Second Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in the WPIX, INC., v ivi INC. 2012 WL 3645304, (2nd.Cir.Aug. 27, 2012) case yesterday. It dismissed ivi’s appeal from a preliminary injunction prohibiting Ivi from continuing to stream television programming over the Internet.

ivi’s defense was that it was a cable system entitled to a compulsory license under § 111 of the US Copyright Act. The US Second Circuit reviewed the statute’s legislative history, development, and purpose which indicated that Congress did not intend for § 111 licenses to extend to Internet retransmissions.

Was the $675,000 damage award against Joel Tenenbaum for file sharing excessive?Was the $675,000 damage award against Joel Tenenbaum for file sharing excessive?



Was the statutory damages award of $675,000 against Joel Tenebaum for downloading and distributing 30 music files over peer-to-peer networks excessive? Did it violate US due process? According to a decision released by a U.S. District Court yesterday in the Sony BMG Music Entertainment v Tenebaum 2012 WL 3639053, (D.Mass., Aug. 23, 2012) case, the answer to both questions is no.

After a five-day jury trial, the jury found that Tenenbaum’s infringement was willful as to each of the thirty sound recordings in issue, and returned a verdict within the US statutory range of $22,500 per infringement, for a total damages award of $675,000. 

The Andersen P2P file sharing study on the purchase of music CDs in CanadaThe Andersen P2P file sharing study on the purchase of music CDs in Canada



In 2006, the highly regarded economics professor Prof. Liebowitz, Director of the Center for Economic Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation at University of Texas, surveyed the entire field of econometric studies on file sharing. On the basis of his comprehensive review (which displayed a remarkable consensus on the issue), he concluded that “file-sharing has brought significant harm to the recording industry”. Prior to that in a comprehensive article published in 2005 Prof. Liebowitz criticized the theory that unlicensed file sharing helps copyright owners.

Google’s plans to prioritize legitimate online contentGoogle’s plans to prioritize legitimate online content



Google announced on Friday it is updating its search algorithms. In making the announcement Google said the purpose is to “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.” According to the statement, it plans to reduce search rankings for sites with “high numbers” of valid takedown notices.

Google acknowledged it has reliable data from rights holders that signal which sites host or otherwise facilitate widespread infringement.

Understanding Flava Works v myVidster: does inline linking infringe copyright?Understanding Flava Works v myVidster: does inline linking infringe copyright?



Last week, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion in the  Flava Works, Inc, v Gunter dba myVidster 2012 WL 3124826 (7th.Cir. Aug 2, 2012) case. The central issue was whether Flava Works, the owner of copyrights in videos, was entitled to a preliminary injunction against the social video bookmarking service myVidster. The injunction which had been granted by the District Court was vacated.

Some commentators have construed the decision as a ruling that embedding or inline linking to a copyright-infringing video on another web site does not infringe copyright[1].

Supreme Court of Canada to release reasons in five copyright casesSupreme Court of Canada to release reasons in five copyright cases



The copyright bar has been eagerly awaiting the release of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada in the five copyright appeals which were heard on December 6 and 7, 2011. The Court announced earlier today that the decisions will be released this Thursday, July 12, 2012.

The Court published case summaries.  I also summarized the main issues in the appeals here.  The webcasts of the arguments can also be accessed here.

So you want to protect computer programs by copyright, the Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL cases (Updated)So you want to protect computer programs by copyright, the Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL cases (Updated)



Are computer programs protected by copyright? That issue was a hot one three decades ago when courts began to struggle with whether these intangible utilitarian objects could be protected. Were they machine parts outside the realm of copyright or literary works, the kind of subject matter that copyright protects? This issue was quickly resolved in favor of copyright protection, first by the courts in the US, Australia, Canada and elsewhere in a series of cases involving the Apple II operating system and in other cases, then by international conventions and treaties and worldwide copyright amendments by governments that wanted to be sure programs could not be blatantly pirated.