Ninth Circuit Construes Family Movie Act and Affirms Injunction Against Streaming Service

By Jacob C. Jones and David G. Barker In December 2016, a California federal court issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, Inc.’s custom-filtered video streaming service.  Thursday, in Hollywood Studios v. VidAngel, Inc., a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the injunction, agreeing that Disney, Fox, and Warner were likely to prevail on their copyright infringement and technology circumvention claims and that VidAngel’s fair use defense would fail. VidAngel provided customizable filters that enabled users to skip scenes or silence objectionable content streamed to their devices.  The end-user purchased a newly-released DVD or Blu-ray disc from VidAngel, who would hold the physical media   Read More »

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Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop Unlikely to Infringe Fox’s Copyrights

Dish Network offers its customers the “Hopper”—a set-top box that combines video on demand (VOD) and digital video recorder (DVR) functionality.  The Hopper uses “PrimeTime Anytime” and “AutoHop” to automatically record TV shows and skip commercials in those shows.  Fox sued Dish, claiming these services infringed Fox’s copyrights, and moved for a preliminary injunction.  The Central District of California denied the injunction, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, ruling Fox was unlikely to succeed in proving copyright infringement. PrimeTime Anytime automatically records primetime TV shows on the four major broadcasting networks once a user activates the service so the user can   Read More »

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The Presumption of Irreparable Harm in Patent, Copyright, and Trademark Infringement Cases

Traditionally, a plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction in a trademark infringement case has been entitled to a presumption of irreparable harm if the plaintiff can prove likelihood of success on the merits.  In 2006, the Supreme Court decided eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.  The Court there rejected a categorical rule that a patent infringement plaintiff is entitled to a permanent injunction if it proves infringement.  Instead, held the Court, even a patent infringement plaintiff must show (1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for that   Read More »

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