Monthly Archives: August 2012

District Court: Google Books Case Will Proceed While Class Certification Is Appealed

A copyright-infringement lawsuit challenging the Google Books service will proceed in a New York federal district court, even while an appeals court considers whether the suit can proceed as a class action. In an order filed Wednesday, Judge Denny Chin declined Google’s request to stay the district-court proceedings. Judge Chin granted class-action status to the … Continue Reading

Appeals Court: TV-Streaming Service Not “Cable System” Under Copyright Act

A federal appeals court this week upheld a preliminary injunction against an online service that streamed live broadcast television programming to subscribers. ivi, Inc. launched its television-streaming service in September 2010, and by early 2011 it was retransmitting the signals of dozens of TV stations from New York, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.  Broadcasters and … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Video Programming Distributors of the Requirement to Make Emergency Information Accessible to Persons With Hearing or Visual Impairments

With hurricane season already in progress, including Hurricane Isaac’s arrival on the Gulf Coast, the FCC has issued a reminder of the obligation to make emergency information accessible to persons with hearing and visual disabilities.  The FCC’s public notice provides additional guidance with respect to what video programming distributors must do to meet the accessibility … Continue Reading

FCC Requests Comments on Petition for Reconsideration Regarding Commercial Volume Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has requested comments on a Petition for Reconsideration concerning the FCC’s commercial volume rules.  These rules, which implement the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (“CALM”) Act, require television broadcasters, digital cable operators, and other digital multichannel video programming distributors to follow a technical standard that is designed to prevent television advertisements from being transmitted at louder volumes … Continue Reading

DOJ Seizes Domain Names To Prevent Theft Of Copyrighted Cell Phone Apps

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is ramping up efforts against the illegal distribution of cell phone applications.  On August 21, 2012, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Lamkin announced a first of its kind seizure of three website domain … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses VPPA Suit Against Netflix

The past few years have witnessed a series of attempts by plaintiffs to apply the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) — a statute passed in 1988 to protect against certain disclosures of video rental records — to the video distribution technologies of today.  For example, in Sterk v. Redbox Automated Retail, plaintiffs sued the video … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Online Closed Captioning User Control Mandate Until January 2014

On Friday, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued a decision that extends until January 1, 2014 the deadline for all online video programming distributors (“VPDs”) to implement user controls in connection with their delivery of Internet Protocol closed captioning.   Prior to this decision, VPDs that provide applications or plug-ins in order to deliver video programming had … Continue Reading

TV Broadcaster Online Public Inspection File: Two Weeks In

The Federal Communications Commission’s new online system for hosting television broadcasters’ public inspection files has now been live for two full weeks. The system officially launched August 2, which means stations are required to upload most categories of public file documents created from that day forward and to finish uploading most older public-file documents by February 2, … Continue Reading

Appeals court allows Google to challenge class certification in Google Books suit

Google may appeal a New York federal district court’s decision to grant class-action status to a copyright-infringement lawsuit challenging the Google Books service, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday.  The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 12-2402 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2012). Google launched its Google Books Library Project … Continue Reading

Cable Operators Challenge FCC On Program Carriage Decision And Rule Changes

Cable operators are turning to federal courts of appeal to challenge Federal Communications Commission activity relating to Section 616 of the Communications Act, which — along with the FCC’s implementing rules — prohibits vertically integrated cable operators  from discriminating against unaffiliated cable networks.   Comcast Appeals Carriage Decision to D.C. Circuit Comcast has filed a petition … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: Incentive Auction Next Steps Expected This Fall

Welcome to the first post in our SpectrumWatch series, which will provide updates on developments in spectrum policy and regulation. Earlier this year Congress passed legislation authorizing the FCC to create the first-of-its-kind incentive auction, in which TV broadcasters may bid on compensation to give up spectral license rights for auction to mobile wireless carriers.  … Continue Reading

UK Report Recommends Developing a Digital Copyright Exchange to Streamline Copyright Licensing

Last week, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published a report, “Copyright works”, on copyright licensing in the digital age, focusing on the feasibility of developing a marketplace for rights — a “Copyright Hub” — to streamline copyright licensing and make transactions more simple.  This independent report has been a long time in the making: … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Reverses Contributory Copyright Liability Ruling

Last week, the Seventh Circuit found that copyright owners are unlikely to establish that a social bookmarking service is liable for contributory copyright liability, overturning a preliminary injunction granted by the district court.  In an opinion by Judge Richard Posner, the court concluded that merely referring or linking users to an online location containing infringing … Continue Reading

FTC Proposes Additional Revisions to COPPA Rule

By Lindsey Tonsager and Shel Abramson Earlier this morning, the FTC proposed additional revisions to the rule implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).  COPPA governs the online collection, use, and disclosure of children’s personal information by (1) operators of websites and online services that are directed to children under the age of 13 … Continue Reading