Stretching the Bounds of Personal Jurisdiction, 4th Circuit Finds Geotargeted Advertising May Subject Foreign Website Owner to Personal Jurisdiction in the U.S.

1 06 2021

LexBlog/99 Park Row
J. Alexander Lawrence & Lily Smith
July 21, 2020
Foreign websites that use geotargeted advertising may be subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States, even if they have no physical presence in the United States and do not specifically target their services to the United States, according to a new ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Kurbanov, twelve record companies sued Tofig Kurbanov, who owns and operates the websites: flvto.biz and 2conv.com. These websites enable visitors to rip audio tracks from videos on various platforms, like YouTube, and convert the audio tracks into downloadable files.

The record companies sued Kurbanov for copyright infringement and argued that a federal district court in Virginia had specific personal jurisdiction over Kurbanov because of his contacts with Virginia and with the United States more generally. Kurbanov moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the district court granted his motion.

The district court found that both flvto.biz and 2conv.com were semi-interactive, that the visitors’ interactions with them were non-commercial, and that Kurbanov did not purposefully target either Virginia or the United States. As a result, the court ruled that no federal court in the United States had personal jurisdiction over Kurbanov and to exert such jurisdiction would violate due process. On appeal, however, the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling and remanded the case.

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Twitch Faces Sudden Stream of DMCA Notices Over Background Music

1 06 2021

Tech Dirt
Timothy Geigner
Jul 10th 2020

There is obviously a great deal of action going on currently in the streaming world, spurred on in part by the COVID-19 crises that has many people at home looking for fresh content. Between the attempts to respond to social movements and tamp down “hateful” content to changes to the competitive landscape, streaming services are having themselves a moment. But with the sudden uptick in popularity comes a new spotlight painting a target on streaming platforms for everyone from scammers to intellectual property maximilists.

Twitch has recently found itself a target for the latter, suddenly getting slammed with a wave of DMCA notices that appear to focus mostly on background music.

Copyright strikes are an occupational hazard for many Twitch streamers and content creators, but a recent surge of DMCA takedown requests has overwhelmed the community. Now, Twitch support staff has responded to complaints, stating that the claims are focused on clips with background music from 2017 to 2019, and recommending that streamers remove them. The tweets also state that this is the first time that Twitch has received mass DMCA claims against clips.

Given that Twitch is still most popular as a site for live-streams and let’s-plays of video games, the speculation is that a great deal of this is targeting clips that include video game music. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s also the case that scammers are currently using game music as a method to try to takedown or monetize the videos of others. Whether or not that’s what is going on here is anyone’s guess, as Twitch is making it fairly clear that the flood of notices is so large that it’s simply taking down content and advising its streamers to proactively take down anything that might include this sort of copyrighted content.

Except that leaves no room for a number of things, including arguments for Fair Use of certain music,

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The “Wolf of Wall Street” Defamation Suit – The Risk of an “Inspired By” Character in Movies and TV

29 05 2021

It seems that recently there has been a significant number of libel claims that are all based on an unfavorable portrayal of a real person in a work of fiction – television program of motion picture – that is based on real life events.  There is Mossack Fonseca & Co., S.A. et al v. Netflix Inc ., which is based on the streamer’s portrayal of Panamaian lawyers at the center  the “Panama Papers”, leaked documents , that outlined their practice of helping clients move money to avoid tax liability.  The defamation suit claims the program falsely depicts both men as engaging in criminal activity, including subplots that link them to drug cartels and Russian gangsters with Mossack and Fonseca depicted in a “cartoonish” and “palpably farcical” manner that made it obvious the portrayal was fictionalized and intended to be comedic. . . .

Despite the producer’s win on appeal, this case is an example of the risks inherent in creating a work of fiction, including fictional characters, that is based on real world events.  It also provides examples of steps producers can take to prevent being on the losing side of a defamation claim.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/07/09/the-wolf-of-wall-street-defamation-suit-the-risk-of-an-inspired-by-character-in-movies-and-tv/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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A Generic Word Combined With “.Com” Can Create A Protectable Trademark

29 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
Felicia Boyd (US) & Andrea Shannon (US)
July 8, 2020

In United States Patent And Trademark Office, Et Al., v. Booking.Com B. V. (No. 19-46, Jun. 30, 2020), the Supreme Court held that the combination of a generic term with “.com”—referred to as a “generic.com term”–could be a protectable trademark.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/07/08/a-generic-word-combined-with-com-can-create-a-protectable-trademark/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Fair use case confirms that using short video clips does not insulate from copyright infringement claims.

26 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
Steve Vondran
July 6, 2020

Using the “Heart of the Work” is something everyone should consider before relying on the fair use defense

Plaintiff Los Angeles News Service (LANS) licensed its news stories, photographs, audiovisual works, and other services to other news media outlets. While covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots, LANS filmed several segments of nighttime rioting, including the iconic segment titled Beating of Reginald Denny. Although LANS refused to grant defendant Channel 9 television station a license, the station broadcast the footage a number of times on commercially sponsored news programs.

Plaintiff sued the defendant for using an excerpt of its copyrighted videotape of the Reginald Denny beating during the 1992 Los Angeles riot.

The TRIAL court, weighing the statutory factors of 17 U.S.C.S. § 107, found that summary judgment for the defendant under a “fair use” defense was proper.  On appeal, the APPEAL COURT held that summary judgment was improper:  defendant’s use of plaintiff’s copyrighted tape was arguably in the public interest, as a percipient recording of a newsworthy event, defendant’s use was commercial and came in the wake of plaintiff’s refusal to issue a license.

Although the defendant used the tape because it recorded news of considerable significance from the best perspective of any witness, there was no evidence that alternatives were not available.

There was no dispute that the defendant used the “heart” of the tape. Under such circumstances, the court could not say that “fair use” was the only reasonable conclusion a trier of fact could reach.  Summary judgment was thus improper.

Analysis:

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Case citationLos Angeles News Service v. KCAL-TV Channel 9, 108 F. 3d 1119 – Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

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A Dubious Decision: Eleventh Circuit Finds Scraping of Data from a Public Website Can Constitute Theft of Trade Secrets (Part I)

26 05 2021
IP Watchdog
Peter J. Toren
July 2, 2020
Much has already been written in a relatively short period of time since the Eleventh Circuit decided Compulife Software, Inc. v. Newman, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 2549505, (11th Cir. May 20, 2020). However, such commentaries have not addressed whether this decision is legally supportable and whether other circuits should follow this decision, which would provide a legal basis for website operators under certain circumstances to pursue unwarranted scraping of their websites. This is particularly important because the Supreme Court is currently considering whether to grant certiorari in a case involving whether website scraping is legal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Depending on the outcome of this matter, website operators may be extremely restricted to prevent scraping under that statute.
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Suit Takes Aim at Internet Archive, Spurs End of National Emergency Library

26 05 2021

An update from Kaitie Eke, one of the firm’s summer associates:

A copyright infringement lawsuit filed by four major publishing companies against the Internet Archive has prompted early termination of the site’s National Emergency Library, a project that made books available electronically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the project’s conclusion may render some of the publishers’ complaints moot, the suit also takes aim at the ongoing operation of the Open Library and larger Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) practices.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/06/30/suit-takes-aim-at-internet-archive-spurs-end-of-national-emergency-library/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Marvel’s Venom Vs Spyder’s Venom: Industry Giants In TTAB Trademark Case

24 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
Mandour & Associates
November 24, 2020

IPNews® – On November 23rd, Marvel Characters, Inc. filed a trademark opposition against Spyder Active Sports, Inc’s trademark application for “Venom” which will be used to launch a new collection of ski gear.

Venom is the supervillain fictional character of Spider-Man comic books owned by Marvel. The American media franchise alleges that the trademark will cause consumer confusion, especially now that Marvel has recently launched its Venom 2 merchandise to the market.

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Good News: Academics Can Make Their Articles Published In Top Journal Nature Freely Available As Open Access. Bad News: They Must Pay $11,000 For Each One

24 05 2021

Tech Dirt
Glyn Moody
Nov. 25, 2020

Two years ago, Techdirt wrote about Plan S, an initiative from top research funders that requires all work they support to be published as open access. It’s one of the most important moves to get publicly-funded work made freely available, and as such has been widely welcomed. Except by publishers, of course, who have enjoyed profit margins of 35-40% under the current system, which sees libraries and others pay for subscriptions in order to read public research. But Plan S is too big to ignore, not least after the powerful Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined the coalition behind it. So publishers have instead come up with ways to subvert the whole idea of making knowledge freely available in order to maintain profits. The latest and perhaps most blatant example of this has come from Springer Nature, the publisher of the journal Nature, widely regarded as one of the top two science titles in the world (the other being Science). Here’s what Nature the publisher is doing, reported by Nature the journal:

From 2021, the publisher will charge €9,500, US$11,390 or £8,290 to make a paper open access (OA) in Nature and 32 other journals that currently keep most of their articles behind paywalls and are financed by subscriptions. It is also trialing a scheme that would halve that price for some journals, under a common-review system that might guide papers to a number of titles.

The research will indeed by freely available to the world, but the authors’ institutions have to cough up the massive sum of $11,000 for every article.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20201125/02325845767/good-news-academics-can-make-their-articles-published-top-journal-nature-freely-available-as-open-access-bad-news-they-must-pay.shtml Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Dumb Mistake in Copyright Registration Leads to Brutal and Unjust Consequences

24 05 2021

LexBlog/99 park row
June 26, 2020
Rick Sanders

Americans assume copyright is something you have to register for. The rest of the world assumes either registration is voluntary or honestly doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

The truth about copyright registration, in the United States, is a little more complicated. Or, more accurately, a little more mystical. You do not need to register a work to have copyright in it. Copyright attaches itself (“vests in”) the author as soon as it’s “fixed in a tangible medium.” As a result, almost everything you’ve ever written, doodled, painted in an art class, sculpted out of Play-Doh®, sketched out, etc. is protected by copyright.1For the rest of your life, plus another 70 years, so your heirs can benefit from those notes, doodles, emails, finger-paintings, etc.

BUT: Unless and until you register your work, you cannot enforce the copyright.

Having an unregistered copyright is a bit like having only the blueprints for a house, then trying to live in it.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/06/26/dumb-mistake-in-copyright-registration-leads-to-brutal-and-unjust-consequences/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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