For decades, a trademark owner’s chances of recovering an infringer’s profits in litigation varied depending on where the case was pending. The Lanham Act allows an award of an infringer’s profits “subject to the principles of equity” – but what does that mean? Can an unknowing infringer be on the hook for its profits,… More
Tag Archives: Damages
Taking legal action to enforce a copyright is often an expensive proposition so, before you go down that road, you better make sure you own the copyright in question. But what if you have already initiated copyright infringement proceedings and later lose confidence in your claim of ownership – how do you extract yourself? Well, here’s one option that seems to be increasingly popular (but which we don’t recommend): just don’t show up.… More
About a year ago, we wrote about the final chapter in the copyright saga of Joel Tenenbaum, the Boston University student who was found liable for copyright infringement by a District of Massachusetts jury, based on his admitted sharing of about 30 songs via online peer-to-peer networks. Because the jury found that his infringement was willful, it awarded the plaintiffs a whopping $675,000 in statutory damages,… More
First Circuit Affirms $675,000 Award Against Joel Tenenbaum: Gore Test Does not Apply to Statutory Damages under Copyright Act
This week, the First Circuit affirmed a $675,0000 statutory damages award against college student Joel Tenenbaum for copyright infringement. The Court held that the damages award, based on Tenenbaum’s illegal downloading and distribution of 30 copyrighted songs, was not excessive or a violation of due process.
The Original Jury Award
Like Joel Tenenbaum, who has been discussed in prior entries in this blog, Jammie Thomas-Rasset has conducted a long-running battle with the recording industry over how much damages she should pay for her downloading activity. Like Mr. Tenenbaum, she argues that large statutory damages are unfair against individual “consumer” downloaders who contributed only minimally to the industry’s damages. She has had a district court judge on her side throughout her odyssey,… More
Last Friday, the Republican Standing Committee (“RSC”) published a report by twenty-four year old staffer Derek Khanna, a former Mitt Romney aide and graduate of Georgetown Law School, entitled: “Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it.” In less than twenty four hours, the report disappeared from the internet.
The RSC claims that the report was removed because it had been published without adequate review.… More
As previously discussed on this blog, last year the First Circuit held that the jury verdict for $675,000 in statutory damages against graduate student and file sharer Joel Tenenbaum should not have been reduced to $67,500 by District Court Judge Nancy Gertner on constitutional grounds. The case was remanded for consideration of Tenenbaum’s motion for remittitur, and, if that was denied, for fresh consideration of the constitutionality of the award.… More
Update: Oracle Refuses Significant Damages Reduction, Still Dazzled By Potential Billion-Dollar Verdict
When last we looked in on the dispute between Oracle and SAP after SAP’s acquisition of TomorrowNow revealed some unfortunate baggage in the form of extensive copyright infringement, Oracle was flush with a $1.3 billion federal jury award, with SAP vowing to reduce the verdict by any means necessary.
The First Circuit has kept alive a dispute, well-publicized in the Boston area and elsewhere, about what statutory damages can properly be assessed against a graduate student who illegally shared files of copyrighted music via file-sharing program Kazaa. See here for an overview of the case, as well as links to various related content and documents.
Since the defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, eventually admitted his liability for copyright infringement,… More
Is Your Investment Structurally Sound? $1.3 Billion Copyright Verdict Illustrates the Importance of Due Diligence
Last week, a $1.3 billion verdict was handed down against SAP AG, the German software giant, after a lengthy litigation stemming from the acquisition of a company engaged in questionable — and ultimately infringing — business practices. The enormous verdict underscores the importance of pre-acquisition due diligence.
A savvy house hunter conducts a thorough inspection to identify potentially costly defects such as a leaky roof or a termite infestation.… More
Cleveland area radio personality and early rap artist Orrin Lynn Tolliver, Jr. is on a roll in the Southern District of New York. After finding out in 2005 that a song he recorded in 1983 had been sampled in the multi-platinum hit “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas (iTunes sample available here), Tolliver sued his former collaborator who licensed the composition without his permission, and won on liability at the summary judgment stage (originally in March,… More