Chang v. Virgin Mobile, Creative Commons Corporation
Use My Photo? Not Without Permission Photograph of a minor posted on Flickr, under the Creative Commons License, used by Virgin Australia in an ad campaign, seen by plaintiff as a violation of privacy. On the Texas suit against Virgin and Creative Commons – Lawrence Lessig
Virgin Records America, Inc v. Thomas
Jury verdict in favor of RIAA – $220,000 judgment against Minnesota woman for making music files available via Kazaa, despite her denials of doing so.
Religious Technology Center v. Netcom
Erlich was charged with copyright infringement when he posted online sacred writings of the Church of Scientology. In addition, the Church also sued Netcom On-Line Communication Services, Inc. (Netcom), the ISP for the Bulletin Board System (BBS) containing the alleged infringing postings, and Tom Klemesrud, the operator of the BBS which Erlich used to transmit his postings. In connection with the latter action, the U.S. District Court ruled that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) could be liable for contributory copyright infringement when a subscribing member directly infringes a copyright. In a related ruling (923 F. Supp. 1231), the District Court issued a preliminary injunction against Erlich restraining him from all unauthorized reproduction, transmission, and publication of any of the works of L. Ron Hubbard. In a subsequent ruling the Court granted in part plaintiffs’ motion to expand the preliminary injunction based on its copyright and trade secret claims but denied in part based upon the alleged bad faith of defendant. Plaintiffs’ renewed arguments that Erlich should not be entitled to “fair use” of their copyrighted documents because of his alleged “bad faith” was rejected by the Court.
Matthew Bender v. West Publishing
This action raised the question of the extent of the copyright protection available to West Publishing with respect to its published opinions of the United States Supreme Court and the Circuit Courts of Appeals. The issue presented was whether the changes West makes to an opinion, either singly or in combination, represent a sufficient creative effort to warrant copyright protection. The opinions published by West are written, not by West, but by federal judges. The District Court found that since West has no copyright interest in those elements of the reported opinions which Hyperlaw was copying and intended to copy, Hyperlaw was entitled to a judgment that its copying of the opinions from the West reports did not violate West’s copyrights.
MacMillan Co. v. King
In this case the court ruled that copyright protects every substantial component part of a book, as well as the whole. Copyright infringement is not only direct copying of material; it is also possible through paraphrasing and partial copying of an author’s work.
Encyclopedia Britannica Educ. Corp. v. Crooks
In this case the District Court ruled against the making of off-air videotape copies of educational programs and distributing them to schools. The District Court determined that defendants’ highly organized and systematic practice of making off-the-air videotapes and derivative copies of plaintiffs’ televised copyrighted works did not constitute fair use under the copyright laws. (The Court did not address the single instance of a teacher copying copyrighted materials for use in the classroom.)
Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko’s Graphics Corp.
Plaintiffs in this case, all major publishing houses, allegeded that Kinko’s infringed their copyrights when they copied excerpts from books, whose rights were held by the plaintiffs, without permission and without payment of required fees and sold the copies for a profit. The court found that Kinko’s did not convincingly show that the excerpts it appropriated without seeking permission were a fair use of the works in question and concluded that they violated the Copyright Act.
Field v. Google, Inc.
Google did not infringe on Field’s copyright by indexing and caching his online story. Website owners can use meta tags <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOARCHIVE”> or robots.txt files to keep a search engine for indexing a particular page. Also Google’s use of the materials in their database was fair use.
Harry Potter Lexicon – Court says not a Fair Use
Anthony Falzone writes about the court’s decision to stop publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon, ruling against Fair Use. All is not over. He writes:
Finally, remember that avada kedavra — the killing curse — is not always fatal. One wizard survived it. Three times. And it was he who cast the spell (and won’t be named here) that ultimately suffered for it. Maybe someday the Lexicon will be known as The Book That Lived.
Here is Stanford’s offical press release:
STANFORD, Calif., September 8, 2008– Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project has released the following statement on behalf of RDR Books and its counsel regarding today’s decision on Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. et al v. RDR Books et al issued by U.S. District Judge Robert B. Patterson:
“We are encouraged by the fact that the Court recognized that as a general matter authors do not have the right to stop the publication of reference guides and companion books about literary works. As for the Lexicon, we are obviously disappointed with the result, and RDR Books is considering all of its options, including an appeal.”
Court decision and filings here at Justia: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. et al v. RDR Books et al