Jan.-Feb. 2011 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright Edition)

By Eric Goldman

* I could do a whole separate category just for Righthaven:

Righthaven LLC v. South Coast Partners, Inc., 2011 WL 534046 (D. Nev. Feb. 8, 2011) held that another Righthaven defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in Nevada.

Matthew Drudge settled with Righthaven.

– Recaps on the Denver Post pat-down photo lawsuits from Steve Green and the Denver Daily News

– One Utah blogger has taken a preemptive stand against Righthaven: “For bloggers, message board operators and web-sites that wish to make a statement I have provided a graphic that you are welcome to freely use and disseminate. If we can make this go viral it will send a huge message to newspapers as well as show them we are really in a symbiotic relationship and linking to their stories brings them world wide buzz that benefits them greatly.” The image.

– Fortune covered the Righthaven litigation, including a Q&A with always-colorful Steve Gibson.

* As if Righthaven weren’t trolly enough. The latest troubling example of copyright trolling: the mom of the youngest Tucson shooting victim provides media outlets with a family portrait showing her deceased daughter. The portrait photographer hires a lawyer to sue the media outlets showing the portrait. The photographer said all the money would go to charity. Fortunately, the photographer subsequently changed directions. Techdirt covers the story.

* Kelly v. Chicago Park District (7th Circuit Feb. 15, 2011). Super-interesting case that is sure to spawn dozens of law review articles. A wildflower garden created by an artist as “living art” isn’t protected under VARA because it “is neither ‘authored’ nor ‘fixed’ in the senses required for copyright….gardens are planted and cultivated, not authored. A garden’s constituent elements are alive and inherently changeable, not fixed….a garden is simply too changeable to satisfy the primary purpose of fixation; its appearance is too inherently variable to supply a baseline for determining questions of copyright creation and infringement.”

* WPIX v. ivi (SDNY Feb. 22, 2011). Internet service isn’t a “cable system” for purposes of 17 USC 111.

* Serial plaintiff Godzilla sues Honda over a 3 second reference to Godzilla in a Honda Odyssey TV ad.

* Rebecca on an odd ruling over publishing and copying online maps.

* An inside look at Netflix’s content licensing negotiations.

* ABA Journal: Musicians Chafe at Politicians’ Misappropriations of Their Work. Prior blog post.

* Who Dat Yat LLC vs. Who Dat? Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 513 (E.D. La. Jan. 4, 2011):

WDI argues that Fleurty Girl’s claim for the removal of its Facebook page fails because Fleurty Girl does not allege facts establishing that Facebook actually relied upon any alleged misrepresentations made by WDI in removing or disabling access to Fleurty Girl’s Facebook page. Further, WDI contends that Fleurty Girl fails to identify specific statements WDI made to Facebook regarding infringing material or activity on Fleurty Girl’s Facebook page. However, on this motion to dismiss the Court reviews the complaint, assuming all the well-pleaded facts to be true. Fleurty Girl claims that Facebook disabled Fleurty Girl’s page as a result of WDI’s alleged misrepresentations. Under these facts, it is plausible that Fleury Girl could be entitled to relief if every element of a section 512(f) is later proven.

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