Second Circuit Vacates Google Books Class Certification

Judge using his gavelThe Second Circuit has vacated the district court’s class certification ruling in the Google Books case (Authors Guild v. Google), holding that Judge Chin must rule on Google’s fair use defense before considering class certification.  The panel, comprising Judges Leval, Cabranes and Parker, noted that Google’s objections to class certification “may carry some force,” but ruled that the fair use defense should be resolved first, and that such resolution “will necessarily inform and perhaps moot [the Second Circuit’s] analysis of many class certification issues.” [Read more…]

Second Circuit Rules Most Appropriation Art is Fair Use: Cariou v. Prince

A-773,Graduation, Richard Prince In Cariou v. Prince, the Second Circuit has arguably expanded the scope of fair use in the context of appropriation art.  In its decision, the majority not only reversed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff photographer, but entered its own summary judgment in favor of the defendant with respect to 25 of the 30 works at issue, and remanded for further proceedings with respect to the other five.  Crucially, the majority held that in analyzing the first fair use factor (the purpose and character of the use), the defendant’s work need not comment upon or criticize the plaintiff’s work in order to be deemed transformative.  [Read more…]

Second Circuit Reverses YouTube Decision: DMCA Safe Harbor Might Not Apply

Breaking News: The Second Circuit has just reversed the district court’s summary judgment ruling in the Viacom v. YouTube case, holding  a reasonable jury could find that YouTube did not qualify for the DMCA safe harbor.  More analysis to follow, but in the meantime here is the decision: