Category Copyright

Anti-Scraping Lawsuits Are Going Crazy in the Real Estate Industry

The real estate listings industry has become increasingly concerned with competitive “scraping” by multiple listing service websites. After all, MLS owners make money by exploiting an information asymmetry–they charge participating brokers and agents for access to the database listings. If a website legally scrapes and distributes the MLS’s data, it destroys the valuable information asymmetry and thus […]

District Court Smacks Down Another “Avatar” Copyright Infringement Claim — Schkeiban v. Cameron

Schkeiban v. Cameron, No. 2:12-cv-00636 (C.D. Cal. 2012) As of this post, James Cameron’s movie Avatar has grossed roughly $2.78 billion. And as the old saying goes, “where there’s a hit, there’s a writ.” Given the film’s financial success, several eager plaintiffs have come out of the woodwork to sue Cameron for copyright infringement. But […]

Overreaching Anti-Circumvention Claim Shut Down–DISH Network v. World Cable

By Jake McGowan Dish Network L.L.C., et al, v. World Cable Inc., 11-CV-5219 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) In the hopes of ratcheting up damages, plaintiffs often try to assert any possible claim in their arsenal. In the realm of copyright law, this may involve asserting DMCA claims against the dirty, rotten infringers, even though the alleged infringement […]

Improperly Designating Fashion Designs as “Unpublished” May Invalidate Copyright Registration–Family Dollar Stores v. United Fabrics

By Jake McGowan Family Dollar Stores, Inc., v. United Fabrics International, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 2574 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) A few weeks ago, we blogged about whether websites are “published” for copyright law purposes in Rogers v. BBB of Metropolitan Houston. While that decision lacked a definitive answer relating to the status of websites, it reinforced […]

Buyers of Michael Jackson’s Assets from a Storage Locker Auction Can’t Set Up Paywalled Tribute Website–Branca v. Mann

By Jake McGowan Branca v. Mann, CV 11-00584 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2012) When a celebrity goes bankrupt or forgets to pay a bill for his/her physical-space storage locker, opportunists may swoop in and purchase the goods so they can try and turn a profit reselling them. But sometimes, these buyers get a little overzealous–they […]

Is a Website “Published” for Copyright Law Purposes?–Rogers v. BBB of Houston

By Jake McGowan Rogers v. Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston, H-10-3741 (Aug. 15, 2012) In the realm of copyright law, evolving technological perceptions have led to doctrinal questions that have the potential to determine the outcome of a case. One of these questions is whether posting content to a website amounts to “publishing” the […]