Another 512(f) Claim Fails–Ningbo Mizhihe v Doe

The plaintiff is a Chinese vendor that claims copyright in unicorn images (see depictions on the right). The defendants are also vendors using unicorn images. The plaintiff accuses the defendants of infringing the plaintiff’s copyrights. In support of that, the plaintiff sent takedown notices to Amazon targeting the defendants’ listings, which resulted in Amazon disabling the defendants’ Amazon storefront. The plaintiff also sued the defendants for copyright infringement. In response, the defendants initiated a 512(f) counterclaim. It goes exactly how you’d expect.

The defendants claimed that the plaintiff’s copyright registrations were obtained via inaccurate representations to the Copyright Office. Even if true, the court says this doesn’t affect whether the plaintiff’s representations to Amazon were correct.

The plaintiff also lacked actual knowledge of any deficiencies in its takedown notices to Amazon. “[A]side from the conclusory allegations as to Plaintiff ‘knowingly’ making misrepresentations, [the defendants’] contention effectively is one accusing Plaintiff of failing to perform an adequate investigation of the available prior art, which sounds merely in negligence.” 512(f) does not apply to takedown notices sent negligently.

Thus, the 512(f) counterclaim fails. The unicorn theme provides an apropos metaphor for this post because successful 512(f) claims are as rare as actual unicorns.

Case citation: Ningbo Mizhihe I&E Co. Ltd. v. Does 1-200, 2020 WL 2086216 (S.D.N.Y. April 30, 2020). The initial complaint.

Prior Posts on Section 512(f):

* Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin
How Have Section 512(f) Cases Fared Since 2017? (Spoiler: Not Well)
Another Section 512(f) Case Fails–ISE v. Longarzo
Another 512(f) Case Fails–Handshoe v. Perret
* A DMCA Section 512(f) Case Survives Dismissal–ISE v. Longarzo
DMCA’s Unhelpful 512(f) Preempts Helpful State Law Claims–Stevens v. Vodka and Milk
Section 512(f) Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss–Johnson v. New Destiny Church
‘Reaction’ Video Protected By Fair Use–Hosseinzadeh v. Klein
9th Circuit Sides With Fair Use in Dancing Baby Takedown Case
Two 512(f) Rulings Where The Litigants Dispute Copyright Ownership
It Takes a Default Judgment to Win a 17 USC 512(f) Case–Automattic v. Steiner
Vague Takedown Notice Targeting Facebook Page Results in Possible Liability–CrossFit v. Alvies
Another 512(f) Claim Fails–Tuteur v. Crosley-Corcoran
17 USC 512(f) Is Dead–Lenz v. Universal Music
512(f) Plaintiff Can’t Get Discovery to Back Up His Allegations of Bogus Takedowns–Ouellette v. Viacom
Updates on Transborder Copyright Enforcement Over “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”–Shropshire v. Canning
17 USC 512(f) Preempts State Law Claims Over Bogus Copyright Takedown Notices–Amaretto v. Ozimals
17 USC 512(f) Claim Against “Twilight” Studio Survives Motion to Dismiss–Smith v. Summit Entertainment
Cease & Desist Letter to iTunes Isn’t Covered by 17 USC 512(f)–Red Rock v. UMG
Copyright Takedown Notice Isn’t Actionable Unless There’s an Actual Takedown–Amaretto v. Ozimals
Second Life Ordered to Stop Honoring a Copyright Owner’s Takedown Notices–Amaretto Ranch Breedables v. Ozimals
Another Copyright Owner Sent a Defective Takedown Notice and Faced 512(f) Liability–Rosen v. HSI
Furniture Retailer Enjoined from Sending eBay VeRO Notices–Design Furnishings v. Zen Path
YouTube Uploader Can’t Sue Sender of Mistaken Takedown Notice–Cabell v. Zimmerman
Rare Ruling on Damages for Sending Bogus Copyright Takedown Notice–Lenz v. Universal
512(f) Claim Dismissed on Jurisdictional Grounds–Project DoD v. Federici
Biosafe-One v. Hawks Dismissed
Michael Savage Takedown Letter Might Violate 512(f)–Brave New Media v. Weiner
Copyright Owner Enjoined from Sending DMCA Takedown Notices–Biosafe-One v. Hawks
New(ish) Report on 512 Takedown Notices
Can 512(f) Support an Injunction? Novotny v. Chapman
Allegedly Wrong VeRO Notice of Claimed Infringement Not Actionable–Dudnikov v. MGA Entertainment