Articles Posted in Copyright Infringement

Indianapolis, Indiana –Plaintiff, Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Anderson Schulle of Indianapolis, Indiana infringed his rights inblogphoto-300x105 the “Indianapolis Photo” registered on August 4, 2011 with the US Copyright Office, Registration No. VA0001785115. Bell seeks injunctive relief along with statutory damages, costs and attorney fees.

In October, Bell filed suit against a private equity firm from Carmel, Indiana for publishing the photo on their website.

The lawsuit is the latest in a long string of lawsuits alleging infringement of a copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline. See:

According to the complaint, in 2000, Plaintiff took a photograph of the downtown Indianapolis skyline from St. Clair Avenue, overlooking the downtown canal. Plaintiff registered the copyright in 2011 and has used the photograph in business and advertising materials since then. The complaint alleges that in December 2014, Defendant published the photo on his real estate business’ website without authorization or conferring credit, and claimed to own the copyright to the photo himself.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana – The Northern District of Indiana granted a motion for interlocutory appeal to the Seventh Circuit.

This Indiana copyright lawsuit involves Plaintiff Design Basics, LLC of Omaha, Nebraska, a company which “creates, Lanciamarkets, publishes and licenses the use of architectural works and technical drawings.” Defendant is Lancia Homes, Inc., a Fort Wayne company that builds homes.

During the course of litigation, Plaintiff stated that in 2013 it discovered that Defendant had infringed various copyrighted architectural works.  A search of a website archive further revealed that “Defendant had actually been advertising infringing versions of the Plaintiff’s homes since May 18, 2006.”

In February 2016, Design Basics sued Lancia Homes alleging infringement of copyrighted architectural designs. It also named several entities under which Lancia also does business, including Lancia Construction, Springmill Development, Lancia Real Estate, Lancia Homes, Springmill Wood Development, and Waterford Enterprises,

Copyright litigators for Design Basics argued that its claims were not time barred under the Copyright Act, which states that “[n]o civil action shall be maintained under [its] provisions . . . unless it is commenced within three years after the claim accrued.”  It argued that the traditional discovery rule, which provides that a claim accrues when the injured party discovers or should have discovered the allegedly infringing act, should be applied.  Citing dicta in the Supreme Court’s decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., Defendant Lancia Homes argued that a claim for copyright infringement accrues at the time of the infringing act.

The district court agreed with Design Basics and applied the traditional discovery rule. Lancia Homes requested that the court certify the question for interlocutory appeal.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), a trial court may certify an order for appeal if it “involves a controlling question of law, as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate determination of the litigation.” The court found that these conditions had been met and granted Plaintiff’s motion to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal.

Practice Tip: Design Basics argued against an interlocutory appeal.  In granting Lancia Homes’ request for interlocutory appeal, the court noted that Design Basics has 24 similar lawsuits pending in the Northern District of Indiana, stating that it “would be more efficient for the Court of Appeals to consider and decide what, if any, impact Petrella has on the statute of limitations for infringement claims within this Circuit before many of the Plaintiff’s cases within this District are to proceed to trial.”

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MR2-300x168Hammond, Indiana – ME2 Productions Inc. of Carson City, Nevada filed an additional lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging copyright infringement of the action thriller Mechanic: Resurrection.

The lawsuit lists nine anonymous “Doe” Defendants, accusing them of infringing the copyright of the movie, which has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. PA-1-998-057.  Plaintiff contends that the Doe Defendants illegally distributed a “screener copy” of the film via BitTorrent, a file-sharing protocol.  Plaintiff further asserted that this was done “in a collective and interdependent manner with other Defendants via the Internet for the unlawful purpose of reproducing, exchanging, and distributing copyrighted material.”

The movie, which is the sequel to the 2011 action film Resurrection, stars Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones. Plaintiff contends that the Doe Defendants are Indiana residents, stating that it determined through the use of geolocation technology that each had an Indiana Internet Protocol address.

This litigation, filed by a copyright lawyer for ME2 Productions, lists a single count – copyright infringement – and asks the court to award injunctive relief, damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

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Chicago, Illinois – The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Plaintiff Reginald Hart in an intellUntitled-300x122ectual property lawsuit filed against Amazon.com.

Plaintiff Hart, filing pro se, sued Amazon.com, Inc. alleging various state and federal claims, including copyright infringement, aiding and abetting counterfeiting, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Hart, the author of two self-published books, Vagabond Natural and Vagabond Spiritual, claimed that Amazon had permitted six counterfeit copies of his books to be advertised for sale and/or sold on its website by third parties.  Hart further claimed that Amazon had “forcefully exploited” the books by counterfeiting them “for its own commercial use.”  He stated that the books, which detailed his experiences as a homeless man, would have generated “millions of dollars for Amazon” and allowed him “to end homelessness [and not only for himself] both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Hart asserted to the court that he was certain that the books were unauthorized reproductions of his works as they did not bear “indicia of authenticity known only to him.”  The indicator that a book was genuine, according to Plaintiff, was his fingernail indentations on the cover of the book.  Plaintiff provided photographs purporting to show both authorized copies of Plaintiff’s books and books alleged to be fake.  The court, however, concluded that the “two types of book are in all respects identical.”

Indianapolis, Indiana – Cook Productions, LLC of Los Angeles, California filed a lawsuit accusing unnamed Doe Defendants of copyright infringement.  The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Indiana, mirrors another lawsuit filed by Cook Productions in the Northern District of Indiana.Untitled-5-192x300

The copyrighted work at issue is the motion picture “Mr. Church,” which features Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson.  The movie has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. PA 2-002-851.

In this litigation, filed by a copyright lawyer for Plaintiff, the ten unnamed Doe Defendants are accused of having participated in a BitTorrent swarm to disseminate illegal copies of the movie.  Plaintiff states that it used geolocation technology to trace Defendants to the Southern District of Indiana.

Untitled-6-210x300South Bend, Indiana – Plaintiff Cook Productions, LLC of Los Angeles, California sued 11 unnamed “Doe” Defendants in the Northern District of Indiana for infringing the copyrighted motion picture “Mr. Church.”

The movie, which features Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson, tells the story of a lifelong friendship that began when a cook agreed to help a little girl and her dying mother.  It was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on August 29, 2016 under Registration No. PA 2-002-851.

In this Indiana lawsuit, a copyright attorney for Plaintiff contends that Mr. Church was unlawfully released on the internet and shared, potentially worldwide, using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol.  Defendants in this litigation are accused of having participated as part of a BitTorrent “swarm,” in which each Defendant shared portions of the movie with other Defendants, ultimately resulting in each Defendant obtaining a complete copy.  Plaintiff asserts that it used geolocation technology to trace the Internet Protocol addresses of each Defendant to a point of origin within the Northern District of Indiana and that, consequently, jurisdiction in Indiana is proper.

Hammond and Indianapolis, Indiana – A copyright litigator for Plaintiff ME2 Productions, Inc. of Carson City, Nevada filed three new complaints in Indiana federal courts alleging copyright infringement.

Plaintiff asserts that a total of 25 as-yet-unknown Defendants infringed the copyrighted movie “Mechanic: Resurrection,” which stars Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones.  The movie has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. PA-1-998-057.

In its complaints, Plaintiff contends that Defendants were traced to Internet Protocol addresses in Indiana using geolocation technology.  Two lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of Indiana; one was filed in the Southern District of Indiana.

Untitled-2Indianapolis, Indiana – A copyright litigator for Plaintiffs Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) of New York, New York, as well as Sony/ATV Songs LLC d/b/a Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Chinquapin Music, Boy Rocking Music, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Del Sound Music, and Universal – Songs of Polygram International, Inc., brought a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana asserting copyright infringement.

Plaintiff BMI is a licensor of approximately 10.5 million copyrighted musical compositions. The remaining Plaintiffs own the copyrights to the musical compositions that are at issue in this Indiana lawsuit.

Defendants are Hoosier Daddy’s NCIN, LLC d/b/a Hoosier Daddy’s Bar & Grill and its president, Jeff Burchett of New Castle, Indiana. Plaintiffs state that Burchett is responsible for the operation and management of the business entity and the restaurant.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – A copyright lawyer for Plaintiff ME2 Productions, Inc. of Carson City, Nevada filed two new lawsuits in Indiana federal court alleging copyright infringement.

As with two prior Indiana lawsuits, filed by Plaintiff’s copyright lawyer last week in the Northern District of Indiana, these complaints allege infringement by multiple unknown “Doe” Defendants. Specifically, these lawsuits assert that a “screener copy” of the movie “Mechanic: Resurrection” was leaked and distributed illegally using BitTorrent, a file-sharing protocol. These latest lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of Indiana,

Defendants in each of the two lawsuits have been sued as a group, as Plaintiff contends that the Doe Defendants participated “in a collective and interdependent manner with other Defendants via the Internet for the unlawful purpose of reproducing, exchanging, and distributing copyrighted material” that was unique to their BitTorrent swarm.

The movie, which stars Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. PA-1-998-057.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, statutory damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

Complaint by pauloverhauser on Scribd

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Copyright lawyer and professional photographer Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed the latest in a string of lawsuits alleging infringement of a copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline.

This lawsuit, filed by Bell on his own behalf in the Southern District of Indiana, lists Honey Creek Capital, LLC of Carmel, Indiana as Defendant. Bell asserts that Honey Creek infringed a copyrighted work titled “Indianapolis Nighttime Photo” by publishing the photo on Honey Creek’s website without having purchased a license. The photo has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. VA0001785115.

Bell asks the court for the maximum statutory damages allowable, contending that Honey Creek is willfully infringing “with oppression, fraud, and malice.” In addition to damages, Bell seeks injunctive relief, costs and attorneys’ fees.

Practice Tip: Bell has filed many lawsuits on his own behalf asserting copyright infringement in Indiana federal courts. See:

• Indianapolis Real Estate Agent Sued for Infringing Copyright of Photo

• Limousine Service Sued for Copyright Infringement
• Bell’s Copyright Litigation Expands to Include IU, Purdue and Others
• Copyright Attorney Shifts to Alleging Infringement of Different Photo
• Attorney/Plaintiff Accuses Wisconsin Analytics Firm of Copyright Infringement
• Bell Names Aramark in Latest Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
• Attorney/Photographer Sues North Carolina Hotel Operator
• Attorney/Plaintiff Bell Files Three New Lawsuits Over Photo of Indianapolis Skyline
• Eight New Infringement Lawsuits Filed by Attorney/Plaintiff
• Attorney/Photographer Files Two New Infringement Lawsuits
• Lawsuit by Frequent Copyright Litigant Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction
• District Court Terminates Copyright Suit Over Photo; Plaintiff Appeals
• Remaining Copyright Defendants in Bell Lawsuit to be Dismissed
• Attorney/Photographer Sues Georgia Real Estate Company for Infringing Copyrighted Photo
• Sovereign Immunity May Take a Toll on Bell’s Latest Copyright Lawsuit
• Appellate Court Dismisses Copyright Appeal as Premature
• Bell Rings in the Holiday Weekend with a New Copyright Lawsuit
• Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
• Bell Sues Georgia-Based FindTicketsFast.com for Copyright Infringement
• Richard Bell Files Two New Copyright Infringement Lawsuits
• Court Prevents Copyright Plaintiff Bell from Outmaneuvering Legal System; Orders Bell to Pay Almost $34,000 in Fees and Costs
• Three Default Judgments of $2,500 Ordered for Copyright Infringement
• Court Orders Severance of Misjoined Copyright Infringement Complaint

• Richard Bell Files Another Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

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