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Eleventh Circuit: copyright in compilations of used boat listings infringed

In a decision yesterday, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the finding of copyright infringement of a factual compilation, specifically a compilation of listings of used boats for sale. Most notably, the court held that the proper standard for infringement was the "substantially similar" test, rather than the "virtually identical" test sometimes used for factual compilations (most […]

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Sixth Circuit: Damages for copyright infringement available even if copies not actually used

The Sixth Circuit issued a ruling that, by largely following the Second Circuit, clarifies the calculation of damages for copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 504(b) and 17 U.S.C. § 505 for infringing copies of software. Specifically, the court decided that unused infringing copies should still be included in actual damages, the use of the […]

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Digital compilation of magazine archives a privileged “revision” of a collective work

In a decision today, the Eleventh Circuit held that the National Geographic Society, by its publication of "The Complete National Geographic," had not infringed the copyrights of a photographer whose photos appear in the various individual issues of National Geographic. The court held that the change from print to digital media was a "revision" as […]

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Fourth Circuit affirms refusal of copyright registration: insufficient creativity

The Fourth Circuit yesterday affirmed the denial of copyright registration to an individual who had adapted United States Census maps for use on his website. The only changes to the maps were the addition of colors, changing the typeface of the state abbreviations, and a change in layout for some of the state indications. The […]

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Preliminary injunction against Google image search’s display of copyrighted images reversed

In a lengthy and tech-heavy opinion [Update (12/4): the court has released an amended opinion, available here], the Ninth Circuit this week reversed a preliminary injunction against Google restricting its image search from displaying thumbnails of images copyrighted by Perfect 10, Inc. There are several aspects of the ruling of interest, such as: Holding that […]

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Ninth Circuit defines differences between derivative and collective works

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit decided a copyright case dealing with the differences between derivative and collective works. The defendant took photographs which were licensed to it individually by the plaintiff and, after the term of its license had expired, modified the photographs and integrated them into "collage" advertisements. The court held that these advertisements were […]

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Same terms, same meanings, unless specification indicates otherwise

In an appeal by Porta Stor, Inc. of a judgment in favor of PODS, Inc. for, among other things, patent and copyright infringement, the Federal Circuit reversed the judgment of patent infringement finding no literal infringement and finding that infringement under the doctrine of equivalents was barred by prosecution history estoppel. The court also reversed […]

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Wall Street Journal on Viacom v. YouTube

Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has a column discussing the Viacom v. YouTube case (previously blogged about here). Mr. Mossberg thinks the problem is not confined to the particular dispute between Viacom and YouTube/Google, but rather is indicative of a need for greater guidance in copyright law from Congress. The Digital Millennium Copyright […]

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Seventh Circuit issues a stinker of an opinion in copyright case

The Seventh Circuit succinctly sums up the field of commerce of its decision today in JCW Investments, Inc. v. Novelty, Inc.: Somewhat to our surprise, it turns out that there is a niche market for farting dolls, and it is quite lucrative. The case presents some interesting issues, such as whether the copyright in such […]

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Viacom sues YouTube, Google for copyright infringement

In a press release today, Viacom, owner of the MTV and Comedy Centraltelevision networks (among others), announced it is suing YouTube and its parent company, Google, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit seeks over $1 billion in damages. The parties had been in negotiations for YouTube/Google to have a license to provide Viacom’s content on YouTube, […]

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