Articles Posted in Copyright Infringement

USA – The Copyright Alternative in Small-Clams Enforcement (CASE) Act was enacted on December 27, 2020.  This creates a Copyright Claims Board consisting of three officers chosen by the Librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights.  The officers will act as arbitrators for civil copyright claims and counterclaims capped at $30,000 in damages for declaratory judgment of non-infringement or for notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The Board is expected to be operational by December 27, 2021.

Parties may affirmatively opt out of adjudication before the board within 60 days of service. Failure to do so will serve as consent to the proceeding before the Board and will waive the right to a jury trial.

The proceedings before the Board are also less formal. While parties can conduct written discovery, they may not conduct depositions under the CASE Act. Further, unlike federal district courts, attorneys’ fees are not generally awardable to prevailing parties.

BlogPhoto-1Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently Indianapolis Bouldering LLC, the Plaintiff, provides bouldering facilities as part of its fitness facility. According to the Complaint, Indianapolis Bouldering intends on opening a 52,000 square foot fitness facility (“North Mass Boulder”) in May 2021 using images of rocks and natural surfaces to create an organic branding aesthetic. The Defendants, BP Holdings Company, LLC, Seattle Bouldering Project, LLC, Minneapolis Bouldering Project, LLC, and Austin Bouldering Project, LLC (“Defendants”), allegedly operate climbing gyms in Washington, Texas, and Minneapolis with colorful and geometric branding.

Indianapolis Bouldering acknowledges in the Complaint that for “a brief period of time in late 2020, one of its members used content from one of Defendant’s websites (the “Website Content”) as a placeholder text during the website design process.” It further claims the Website Content was removed after being publicly available for two weeks and was replaced. The Parties apparently exchanged multiple letters regarding the Website Content and various other intellectual property rights. According to the Complaint, Defendants continued to threaten suit to enforce their purported intellectual property rights.

Therefore, Indianapolis Bouldering is seeking a declaratory judgment that (1) the intellectual property interests asserted by Defendants are invalid and/or unenforceable; (2) it is not infringing, has not infringed, and is not liable for infringing any allegedly enforceable intellectual property interest; and (3) non-violation of alleged trade secrets of Defendants.

Continue reading

BlogPhoto-5Indiana – Apparently Stefan Schnebelt, the Plaintiff, is a professional photographer that licenses his photographs. Schnebelt claims he took a photograph of Murlough Bay in Northern Ireland (the “Photo”) and later placed it on his website www.stefanschnebelt.com with a gutter credit. Schnebelt also claims to have registered the Photo with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. VA 2-111-254.

According to the Complaint, Anglotopia, LLC, the Defendant, operates the website www.Anglotopia.net. Schnebelt claims Anglotopia posted an article entitled The Telly Fiver-Five Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit along with the Photo on its website without his permission or a license. Therefore, Schnebelt is seeking damages for copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501. Further, Schnebelt is claiming Anglotopia removed his copyright management information in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1202.

Continue reading

BlogPhoto-203x300Indianapolis, Indiana – LHF Productions, Inc. and Fallen Productions, Inc. (the “Plaintiffs”) own copyrights for the screen plays and motion pictures London Has Fallen (Certificate Number PA0001982831) and Angel Has Fallen (Certificate Number PA2197434) (hereinafter the “Works”), respectively. The Plaintiffs claim Derek S. Dueker (“Dueker”) and Doel aka byanski@gmail.com (“Doel” and collectively the “Defendants”) “registered for accounts with a notorious piracy website referred to as YTS” (the “YTS Website”). According to the Complaint, Dueker downloaded, reproduced, and shared copies of the Works numerous times in 2019. Doel also allegedly downloaded, reproduced, and shared copies of Angel Has Fallen.

According to the Complaint, Dueker and Plaintiffs entered into a settlement agreement in which Dueker would provide certain information relating to the copyright infringement along with paying $950. However, Plaintiffs claim Dueker failed to provide the signed declaration or pay the $950 as required by the agreement.

The Plaintiffs are seeking damages for direct copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501. Plaintiffs are further claiming willful contributory copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2). Third, Plaintiffs claim Defendants knowingly concealed infringement of the Works by removing or altering the copyright management information in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1202. Finally, Plaintiffs are suing Dueker for breach of contract.

Continue reading

BlogPhoto2-204x300Indianapolis, Indiana – Allen L. Asher-Butler (“Asher”), the Plaintiff, claims he designed and illustrated the covers for at least four books (the “Books”). Asher claims Defendants, Amazon-KDP and Jeffrey Bezo (collectively “Amazon”) have been selling the Books authored by William “Will” Wills since 2009 without his authorization. According to the Complaint, Asher filed a claim of copyright infringement with Amazon but apparently the Books have still been sold in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Asher is seeking damages for the sales of the Books in the form of a percentage of sales as a royalty. The approximate amount of royalties claimed by Asher is $5.4 million. Asher is further seeking to recover all court costs and fees.

Continue reading

kid-rock-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently, Larry G. Philpot, the Plaintiff, is a well-known photographer of concerts and musicians throughout the United States. Mr. Philpot has filed multiple copyright infringement lawsuits to protect and enforce the rights to his photographs.  In this case, Mr. Philpot claims Mustard Seed Media, LLC and The Prosper Group Corporation, the Defendants, infringed his rights in copyright registration no. VAu 1-182-727, a photo Mr. Philpot allegedly took of Kid Rock.  Mr. Philpot is seeking damages for copyright infringement against both Defendants pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505.

 

Continue reading

donna-chandler-800x760-1-300x285-1-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Donna Chandler (“Chandler”), one of the Defendants and owner of Co-Defendant, Show Colors, Inc. (“Show Colors”), is the author of a canine training book called “Good Dog!” Apparently, Chandler along with Plaintiffs, Kevin DeTrude (“DeTrude”) and Content & Commerce, Inc. (“Content” and collectively “Plaintiffs”), are members of nominal defendant, My K9 Behaves LLC (“My K9”). Content is allegedly in the business of website development and marketing and is owned by Keneth Zweigel (“Zweigel”). Per the Complaint, Chandler, DeTrude, and Zweigel began working on an online instruction course based upon two books written by Chandler (the “Online Class”) in January 2016. The parties apparently also discussed converting the text-based course to a video format.

Two videos were allegedly recorded and paid for by DeTrude in 2016 with a script for a third video written around February 2017. It appears Chandler, Content, and DeTrude officially formed their business on April 4, 2017, but the parties did not execute an Operating Agreement for the business until mid-June 2017, which included clauses assigning all common law and registered trademark and copyrights, including Chandler’s books and the publishing rights to My K9 (the “Assigned Rights”). Upon dissolution or the termination of Chandler’s ownership in My K9, the Assigned Rights would allegedly revert back to Chandler. According to the Complaint, shortly after the Operating Agreement was executed, a third video was recorded and paid for by Zweigel.

As My K9 was experiencing apparent success, the company entered into a Publishing Agreement for a third book to be written by Chandler with the rights assigned to My K9. Allegedly due to the length of time spent writing the book, the first Publishing Agreement was revoked, and a Second Publishing Agreement was put in place. The Plaintiffs claim Chandler then began demanding a greater portion of the profits and ultimately decided if the rights to the third book were not in her name only, she simply would not publish the third book. Chandler then apparently informed DeTrude and Content that she was withdrawing her membership in My K9 and demanded they cease and desist using her name or likeness and re-assign the Assigned Rights back to her.

DeTrude and Content are seeking a declaratory judgment of copyright and trademark ownership “including any derivative or original intellectual property created by or on behalf of My K9. Further, to the extent the Plaintiffs own any of the copyrighted works, they allege Chandler and Show Colors have infringed those works by profiting off the sale of the works individually and not for the benefit of My K9. To the extent Plaintiffs own any trademarks, they are similarly claiming trademark infringement. Plaintiffs have also brought derivative and direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunities, theft and conversion pursuant to I.C. § 35-43-4-3. Finally, Plaintiffs are claiming breach of contract for Defendants’ alleged breach of the Operating Agreement.

Continue reading

Indianapolis, Indiana – Vera Bradley Designs, Inc. (“Vera Bradley”) the Plaintiff, claims to have more than 1,100 copyright registrations for its unique fabric designs, 17 of which are at issue in this case (the “Vera Bradley Works”). Vera Bradley claims to sell eyeglasses, sunglasses, and cases bearing the Vera Bradley Works.

According to the Complaint, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”) and Greenbrier International, Inc. (“Greenbrier”), the Defendants, sell eyeglasses and related accessories that allegedly infringe the Vera Bradley Works. Vera Bradley claims after it sent a cease and desist letter to Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree stated it was unable to remove the alleged infringing products from its stores. Further, Vera Bradley claims Greenbrier sourced and/or imported the alleged infringing products.

Vera Bradley is claiming copyright infringement against both Defendants and vicarious and contributory copyright infringement against Greenbrier pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 501. Vera Bradley further claims Dollar Tree participated in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of I.C. § 24-5-0.5-03.

BlogPhoto Continue reading

Joe-Hand-300x141Indianapolis, New Albany Division, Indiana – Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. (“Joe Hand’), the Plaintiff, claims to specialize in licensing premier sporting events to commercial establishments including bars, restaurants, and other similar locations. Those premier sporting events apparently included the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing match on August 26, 2017 (the “Program”) that was purportedly registered under U.S. Copyright No. PA 2-006-333. According to the Complaint, Defendants, Lena Marie Smith and Main Street Bar N Grill, LLC (“Defendants”), avoided paying the proper commercial licensing fees and publicly exhibited the Program at their establishment.

This case is extremely similar to the numerous lawsuits Joe Hand has filed previously. Like most of those cases, Joe Hand is seeking damages for satellite piracy (47 U.S.C. § 605), cable piracy (47 U.S.C. § 553), and copyright infringement (17 U.S.C. § 505).

Continue reading

BlogPhoto-1-203x300Evansville, IndianaJoe Hand Promotions, Inc. (“Joe Hand”), a frequent Plaintiff in the federal courts of Indiana, apparently specializes in licensing premier sporting events to bars, restaurants, and similar venues. According to the Complaint, Joe Hand had an agreement with the owner of U.S. Copyright PA-002-0660333 to commercially distribute the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing match (the “Program”) on August 26, 2017.

Per the Complaint, the Defendants, Joseph J. Kim, Sarah Ying AI Kim, and Genesis Business Systems, LLC d/b/a Gangnam Korean BBQ, exhibited the Program to the public without paying for a commercial license through Joe Hand. As such, Joe Hand is seeking damages for satellite and cable piracy pursuant to 47 U.S.C. §§ 605 and 553, respectively, and copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505.

Continue reading

Contact Information