Justia Copyright Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
In re Literary Works in Elec. Databases Litig.
Plaintiffs in this consolidated class action allege copyright infringements arising from defendant publishers' unauthorized electronic reproduction of plaintiff authors' written works. The district court certified a class for settlement purposes and approved a settlement agreement over the objection of ten class members (objectors). In this appeal, objectors challenged the propriety of the settlement's release provision, the certification of the class, and the process by which the district court reached its decisions. Although the court rejected the objectors' arguments regarding the release, the court concluded that the district court abused its discretion in certifying the class and approving the settlement because the named plaintiffs failed to adequately represent the interest of all class members. The court did not reach the procedural challenges, which were moot in light of the court's class certification holding. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's order and remanded for further proceedings. View "In re Literary Works in Elec. Databases Litig." on Justia Law
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Kirtsaeng
Plaintiff sued defendant, claiming, among other things, copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. 501, trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. 1114(a), and unfair competition under New York state law. At issue was whether the first sale doctrine, 17 U.S.C. 109(a), applied to copyrighted workers produced outside the United States but imported and resold in the United States. The court held that the first sale doctrine did not apply to works manufactured outside of the United States; the district court did not err in declining to instruct the jury regarding the unsettled state of the first sale doctrine; and the district court did not err in admitting evidence of defendant's gross revenues. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Kirtsaeng" on Justia Law
Barclays Capital Inc., et al. v. Theflyonthewall.com, Inc.
After a bench trial, the district court entered a judgment for plaintiffs concluding that on seventeen occasions, defendant had infringed plaintiffs' copyrights in their research reports, and that by collecting and disseminating to its own subscribers the summary recommendations with respect to securities trading contained in plaintiffs' reports, defendant had committed the New York state law tort of "hot news" misappropriation. Defendant appealed the judgment and injunction against it on the "hot news" misappropriation claim. The court held that plaintiffs' claim against defendant for "hot news" misappropriation of the plaintiff financial firms' recommendations to clients and prospective clients as to trading in corporate securities was preempted by federal copyright law. Based upon principles explained and applied in National Basketball Association v. Motorola ("NBA"), the court held that because plaintiffs' claim fell within the "general scope" of copyright, 17 U.S.C. 106, and involved the type of works protected by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 102 and 103, and because defendant's acts at issue did not meet the exceptions for a "hot news" misappropriation claim as recognized by NBA, the claim was preempted. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court with respect to that claim. View "Barclays Capital Inc., et al. v. Theflyonthewall.com, Inc." on Justia Law
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., v. American Buddha
Plaintiff, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. ("Penguin"), filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against defendant, an Oregon not-for-profit corporation with its principal place of business in Arizona, alleging that defendant's posting of four Penguin books on the Internet violated Penguin's copyrights in works that it had published. In answer to a question the court certified to the New York Court of Appeals, that court concluded that "[in] copyright infringement cases involving the uploading of a copyrighted printed literary work onto the Internet, ... the situs of injury for purposes of determining long-arm jurisdiction under [the relevant section of New York's long-arm-jurisdiction statute is] ... the location of the copyright holder." Accordingly, the court held that the Court of Appeals' decision compelled it to conclude, for purposes of the personal jurisdiction analysis pursuant to New York's long-arm statute, that the situs of Penguin's alleged injury was New York. Therefore, the judgment dismissing Penguin's complaint was vacated and the case remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion and with the Court of Appeals' response to the certified question.