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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Ninth Circuit: Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notices

The Ninth Circuit held last week in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (the “dancing baby” case) that a copyright holder must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Without first considering fair use, the copyright holder cannot have formed the required subjective good faith belief that the use was infringing. Stephanie Lenz and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Universal Music Group in 2007 after Universal sent Lenz a takedown notice for a 29-second video she posted to YouTube of her son dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” Lenz claimed the video was   Read More »

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The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Scope of DMCA Safe-Harbor Provision

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified the scope and nature of liability for online service providers when users upload infringing content to services such as media hosting sites.  The Ninth Circuit’s March 14, 2013 decision vacated and replaced the court’s prior decision in UMG Recordings v. Shelter Capital Partners, 667 F.3d 1022 (2012) (“Veoh 1”), which it had withdrawn when the Second Circuit issued its opinion in a case brought by media giant Viacom against YouTube that presented similar issues.  Viacom Int’l v. YouTube, 676 F.3d 19 (2012) (“YouTube”).  The court’s new decision (“Veoh 2”) removes potential inconsistencies   Read More »

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