Website Developer’s Unauthorized Login to Website Not Actionable Under DMCA

What's your password
Creative Commons License photo credit: TheRealMichaelMoore
In a recent decision, Ground Zero Museum Workshop v. Wilson, a District of Maryland court held that a former website developer who allegedly gained unauthorized access to the plaintiff’s website after a dispute and altered the website did not violate the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.  In a familiar fact pattern of the jilted lover, er, I mean website developer, the developer used his password to access the back end of the plaintiff’s website after the two parties had a falling out and the developer resigned.  Then, depending upon whose version of reality you choose to believe, the developer either (1) pulled out the website functionality he had created and left the website in the same condition it was in before he started work or (2) altered the website so that users would think it was no longer functioning and inserted code that would redirect users to various news articles about the plaintiff and its owners. [Read more…]

Copyright Act Preempts All State Law Claims Based On Fraudulent DMCA Notice

Horse by Paul Jackson
Creative Commons License photo credit: dcbaok

I guess you could call this the law of the virtual horse.  In a new copyright preemption case, Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc., the District Court for the Northern District of California held that any of the plaintiff’s state law claims premised upon the defendant’s alleged fraudulent DMCA takedown notices were preempted by the Copyright Act.  [Read more…]