Zazzle Loses Copyright Jury Verdict, and That’s Bad News for Print-on-Demand Publishers–Greg Young Publishing v. Zazzle

30 11 2017

Greg Young Publishing licenses images for posters, many of which are beach- or surfing-themed. Zazzle users posted item listings that included the copyrighted images. Greg Young Publishing sued Zazzle. In a prior ruling, the court held that Section 512(c) applied to the photos in the online product listings, but not to the manufacture of goods bearing the image. Without Section 512 protection for the latter, the case proceeded to a jury trial.

The trial did not go well for Zazzle. It lost on all 35 counts of copyright infringement, and the jury awarded over $460,000 in statutory damages in amounts ranging from $200 to $66,800 per work. Five of the statutory damage awards were more than $30,000 per work, which is allowed only for willful infringement. In post-trial motions, Zazzle moved to limit those 5 statutory damages awards to $30,000 each because the plaintiff didn’t prove willfulness. The judge agreed, knocking those 5 awards down to $30,000 each.


Case citationGreg Young Publishing, Inc. v. Zazzle, Inc., 2017 WL 5004719 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 27, 2017)



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