UMG v Veoh: Ninth Circuit Affirms DMCA Safe Harbor for Veoh

Copyright Into Infinity
Creative Commons License photo credit: Post-Software

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s decision that Veoh’s user-generated video service was protected from UMG’s copyright infringement claims by the DMCA safe harbor provisions.  In a comprehensive and mostly well-reasoned 49-page opinion, the court methodically rejected each of UMG’s arguments as to why the safe harbor should not apply. [Read more…]

First Circuit Upholds Attorney Fee Award Much Higher Than Copyright Damages

Pink Piggy Bank On Top Of A Pile Of One Dollar Bills
Creative Commons License photo credit: kenteegardin

On July 5, the First Circuit, in the appeal of Spooner v. EEN, upheld a district court’s award of attorneys’ fees against a willful infringer.  Although the amount of the fee award, just under $100,000 for a case that went all the way through trial, does not seem very high.  The defendant, however, argued that the award was excessive because the plaintiff was only awarded $10,000 in statutory damages.  The First Circuit rejected this argument, holding that there is no strict proportionality requirement for fee awards.  The court also pointed out that often times in copyright cases the non-monetary relief is more valuable than the damages awarded, and that such value must be taken into account.  The court noted that the plaintiff had carefully reduced its overall fees to account for work done against other defendants (which settled before trial) and for various unsuccessful motions filed by the plaintiff.  [Read more…]