2H 2019 and Q1 2020 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright, E-Commerce, Advertising)

Copyright * In re DMCA Subpoena to Reddit, Inc., 2020 WL 999788 (N.D. Cal. March 2, 2020). Court quashes 512(h) subpoena because the underlying publications were protected by fair use. This is your reminder that 512(h) subpoenas routinely unmask individuals…

Another Terrible Copyright Ruling on IAPs' Liability for Users' File-Sharing--Warner v. Charter

Another Terrible Copyright Ruling on IAPs’ Liability for Users’ File-Sharing–Warner v. Charter

This is a copyright infringement lawsuit against Charter, an Internet access provider, for users’ copyright infringements by file-sharing. I comprehensively blogged the magistrate report in this case back in October. In that blog post, I described the magistrate’s report as…

Instagram's TOS Authorizes Third-Party Embedding of Photos--Sinclair v. Mashable

Instagram’s TOS Authorizes Third-Party Embedding of Photos–Sinclair v. Mashable

Sinclair is a professional photographer. Like many photographers, she posts photos to Instagram. Mashable wished to use a photo of Sinclair’s and asked for a license. Sinclair declined. Using Instagram’s API, Mashable then embedded the photo into its story. Sinclair…

U.S. Supreme Court Confirms that States Have Sovereign Immunity from Copyright Infringement Suits--Allen v. Cooper

U.S. Supreme Court Confirms that States Have Sovereign Immunity from Copyright Infringement Suits–Allen v. Cooper

by guest blogger Tyler Ochoa On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Allen v. Cooper,  No. 18-877, that states have sovereign immunity from claims of copyright infringement, and that 17 U.S.C. § 511, which purports to waive…

Videogame Can Replicate Musician's "Signature Move" (Unless It's a False Endorsement, Which It Isn't)--Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Videogame Can Replicate Musician’s “Signature Move” (Unless It’s a False Endorsement, Which It Isn’t)–Pellegrino v. Epic Games

Pellegrino is a saxophone player with “externally rotatable feet,” which has helped him develop a nifty “signature” dance move while playing. The videogame Fortnite sells “emotes,” optional customizations for players’ digital avatars. Pellegrino alleges that the “Phone It In” emote…

Videogame Doesn't Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players--Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

Videogame Doesn’t Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players–Solid Oak Sketches v. 2K Games

This case deals with a venerable and vexing copyright law problem: if a person doesn’t own the copyright to his/her tattoos, do other people infringe by accurately depicting the person? The answer surely has to be “no.” Otherwise, ordinary daily…

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination--Mishiyev v. Alphabet

YouTuber Loses Lawsuit Over Channel Termination–Mishiyev v. Alphabet

Mishiyev, a/k/a “DJ Short-e,” is a YouTuber who claims he had 100M+ views and 250k subscribers. His videos started getting copyright complaints in 2016. He counternoticed those, but he claims he nevertheless saw traffic dropoffs and started making demands of…

Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh....--Bell v. Chicago Cubs

Can a Retweet Constitute Copyright Infringement? Uh….–Bell v. Chicago Cubs

Bell authored a book called “Winning Isn’t Normal.” He got a copyright registration for the book and a separate registration for a 241 word passage from the book (I won’t include that passage here for reasons that soon will be…

Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)--Hughes v. Benjamin

Video Excerpts Qualify as Fair Use (and Another 512(f) Claim Fails)–Hughes v. Benjamin

Hughes is a YouTuber. She made a 10 minute video of Hillary Clinton’s election night party called “We Thought She Would Win” and posted it to her channel. Benjamin also is a YouTuber, but on the opposite end of the…

A Blog's RSS Feed May Not Grant an Implied Copyright License--MidlevelU v. Newstex

A Blog’s RSS Feed May Not Grant an Implied Copyright License–MidlevelU v. Newstex

MidlevelU publishes a blog on nursing topics. Like most blogs, it contains an RSS feed. Newstex subscribed to the RSS feed and republished the blog posts as part of its now-defunct subscription service called “Scholarly Blog Index.” MidlevelU sued Newstex…