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Court Denies Verizon’s Motion to Quash RIAA’s Subpoena and Motion to Stay Pending Appeal.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) served two separate subpoenas, both under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), on Verizon Internet Services, seeking the identities of two of Verizon’s anonymous users. Both users allegedly made copyrighted music available for download over the Internet. Verizon attempted to quash both subpoenas, or in the alternative to stay enforcement pending appeal.

Stay of New FCC Ownership Rules

The Prometheus Radio Project is an unincorporated organization whose goal is to provide support for the creation of low-power, non-commercial radio stations. Prometheus is represented in this case by the Media Access Project. Under 47 U.S.C. §402(a) and 28 U.S.C. §§2342-2344, litigation regarding FCC orders is filed in the U.S.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Stored Communications Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Provide Cause of Action for Plaintiff

The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs whose private e-mail messages were disclosed under a “patently unlawful” subpoena could sue the defendant who issued the subpoena and his lawyer under the federal Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. §1030) The court held that the federal Wiretap Act (18 USC §2511 et. seq.) does not apply to such a case because it does not cover stored e-mails.

Free Speech Challenge to Trade Secret Injunction Rejected in California DeCSS Case

In October 1999, Andrew Bunner posted DeCSS—code that can be used to defeat CSS copy protection on DVDs—on his website, and the DVD Copy Control Association (“DVD CCA”) sent notice demanding that he remove it. When Bunner refused, DVD CCA filed an action for injunctive relief, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets under California Civil Code Section 3426.1. (No damages were sought.) The trial court denied DVD CCA a temporary restraining order, but subsequently enjoined Bunner from posting DeCSS or related information on his website.

Court Strikes Infringement Action against Pop-ups’ Provider

WhenU.com’s pop-up advertising software typically comes bundled with free downloadable software. The pop-up advertising software resides on the user’s computer, and has an algorithm that uses the user’s Internet activity to decide what pop-up advertisements should appear.U-Haul, aggrieved by WhenU.com’s display of pop-up advertisements for U-Haul’s competitors on top of U-Haul’s website, sued, claiming trademark and copyright infringement.

FORDWORLD.COM Registrant, Held in Violation of ACPA

Peter Catalanotte, defendant-appellant, registered the domain name on January 21, 1997. Never having operated any website using this domain name, Catalanotte sent an e-mail on October 27, 2000 to officers of Ford, inquiring about their interest in buying the domain name. Ford filed its Complaint on November 30, 2000 in the District Court, alleging cyberpiracy, trademark dilution, trademark infringement, and false designation of origin.

Summary Judgment Denied in DMCA Garage Door Opener Case

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, denied a motion for summary judgment against Skylink Technologies, Inc., manufacturer of a universal remote control for garage door openers, for allegedly violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Chamberlain Group, Inc., a manufacturer of garage door openers and remote controls, sued its competitor Skylink for marketing a universal remote. Skylink's universal remote is capable of operating a line of Chamberlain openers that uses a special software algorithm to increase security.

Actual Damages Denied for Overseas Copyright Infringement

At issue was whether the copyright owner should be permitted to recover actual damages beyond the defendant’s profits, where the profits resulted from the overseas distribution of videos produced by infringing a copyright within the United States. The Ninth Circuit answered no, holding that the “narrow exception [to the Copyright Act] for the recovery of the infringer’s profits” does not include actual damages.

Ninth Circuit Overturns Denial of Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Case

The plaintiffs, the Traditional Cat Association and its head Diana L. Finerman, sued the defendants for using the name “Traditional Cat Association.” The case went to trial on the plaintiffs’ claims of copyright infringement and coversion and the defendants’ counterclaims of defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic damage, and conversion. The judge entered judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants on the copyright infringement claims.

Matt Neco

Monday September 22, 2003
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Room 80 (Moot Courtroom)
Free and Open to all!
Lunch Served

On the heels of filing its response brief before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week, join Matthew Neco, general counsel for StreamCast Networks, Inc., the producer and distributor of the controversial Morpheus file sharing software program for a discussion on:

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