2d Cir. Addresses DMCA "Repeat Infringer" Policy In MP3Tunes Appeal; Finds Only A Single Statutory Damages Award For Infringed Composition & Sound Recording; Addresses Many Other Copyright Law Issues

EMI Christian Music et al. v. MP3Tunes, No. 14-4369 (2d Cir. Oct. 25, 2016).

In the MP3Tunes appeal, the Second Circuit vacated the District Court’s grant of partial summary judgment to the defendants based on its conclusion that MP3tunes qualified for safe harbor protection under the DMCA because the District Court applied too narrow a definition of “repeat infringer”; (2) reversed the District Court’s grant of judgment as a matter of law to the defendants on claims that MP3tunes permitted infringement of plaintiffs’ copyrights in pre‐2007 MP3s and Beatles songs because there was sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that MP3tunes had red‐flag knowledge of, or was willfully blind to, infringing activity involving those categories of protected material; (3) remanded for further proceedings related to claims arising out of the District Court’s grant of partial summary judgment; and (4) affirmed the judgment in all other respects (relating to statutory damages for sound recordings and compositions, cover art liability, respondeat superior liability for MP3Tunes executives, personal jurisdiction, vicarious and contributory liability, statutory damages for singles & compilations, and punitive damages).

The plaintiff record labels and music publishers argued that MP3tunes never reasonably implemented a repeat‐infringer policy.  In addressing this argument, the Second Circuit answered two questions: first, whether certain MP3tunes users qualified as “repeat infringers”; and second, if so, whether MP3tunes reasonably implemented a policy directed at them.  As to the first question, the Second Circuit held "all it takes to be a 'repeat infringer' is to  repeatedly upload or download copyrighted material for personal use."  (Emphasis in original)  Having answered that question, the Court then found that MP3tunes did not "even try to connect known infringing activity of which it became aware 2through takedown notices to users who repeatedly created links to that infringing content in the sideload.com index or who copied files from those links...A jury could reasonably infer from that evidence that MP3tunes actually knew of specific repeat infringers and failed to take  action "

The Court also, notably, addressed statutory damages and whether it was improper to make only a single award where there are different owners of the copyright in the sound recording and in the composition.

 In our view, then, Congress did not intend for separate statutory damages awards for derivative works such as sound recordings, even when the copyright owner of the sound recording differs from the copyright owner of the musical composition.    In sum, the District Court’s decision to permit only one award of statutory damages for the musical composition and corresponding sound recording comports with both the plain text and the legislative history of the Copyright Act.  We therefore affirm that part of the judgment.

In addition to attacking the District Court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over him, the individual defendant (MP3Tune's CEO) argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that he was vicariously or contributorily liable for MP3tunes’s infringements.  The Second Circuit disagreed,

Jeremih Can't Avoid Photog's Secondary Copyright Infringement Claims & Model's Publicity Claim Over Album Cover

Rams v. Def Jam Recordings, No. 15-8671 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2016).

Artist Jeremih's Rule 12 motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' secondary copyright infringement claim, and all of the Defendants' motion to dismiss the right of publicity claim under California law, were denied.  The case involves the use of a photo on an album cover on the hit single "Don't Tell 'Em"; the plaintiff photographer alleged copyright infringement against the artist and label, and the plaintiff model alleged violation of her right of publicity.

As to the contributory infringement claim against the defendant artist, the Court held that the photographer stated a claim.  "Drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of Plaintiffs, it is plausible that ... the recording artist, whose work is distributed by UMG under the Def Jam label, would have reason to know of the infringing use of the Subject Image on his own album cover."

As to the vicarious infringement claim against the defendant artist, again the Court held that the photographer stated a claim.  "Plaintiffs state a plausible claim that, as a recording artist...[he] had the right and ability to supervise the selection of cover artwork for his own 'Don't Tell 'Em' single."  Further, the Court found that the complaint sufficiently alleged that the artist benefited financially from the infringement.

As to the model's right of publicity claim, the Court first addressed whether the law of Denmark applied (where the model resides) or whether instead California law applies.  California's choice of law rules applied because the case had been transferred to New York from California district court.  Accordingly, the Court applied the "governmental interest" test under California law, and held that California law should apply.  "Under California law, Rams has sufficiently alleged that Defendants knowingly distributed and profited from the use of her image throughout California without her consent, violating her right of publicity."

Record Company Copyright Claims Against Amway Survive Dismissal

Alticor Inc. v. UMG  Recordings, Inc., No. 6:14-cv-542 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 10, 2015).

In a complex dispute between mutliple record companies and Amway concerning alleged direct, vicarious and contributory infringement of pre- and post-'72 sound recordings in over 1,000 videos, the Court dismissed Amway's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the record companies counter-claims.  First, the Court found that the record companies had adequately alleged violations of their exclusive right of public performance.  Amway argued that the "public performance right" applicable to musical compositions and other works was inapplicable to sound recordings; the Court rejected that argument.  Second, the Court found that even though the Copyright Act does not conver a "making available" right, the act of making a work available for use of a direct infringer was relevant to the record companies' indirect infringement claims.  Third, the Court agreed with Amway that Florida common law does not create a public performance right for pre-72 recordings, but nonetheless held that it would not grant Amway partial relief under Rule 12(b)(6).

Cox Communications Not Protected By DMCA Safe Harbor In Bit-Torrent Case

BMG Rights Management v. Cox Communications, no. 14-1611 (E.D. Va. Dec. 1, 2015).

In an action by the putative owners of 1,400 musical compositions against an internet service provider (Cox) for contributory and vicarious liability based on its users Bit Torrent infringement, the Court held inter alia that the ISP was not protected by the DMCA safe-harbor because it did not terminate access of repeat infringers under appropriate circumstances.  The Court found that defendant did not implement a repeat infringer policy before 2012, and after 2012 it did not reasonably implement its policy.  Thus, if Plaintiff is successful at trial, it will not be limited in the remedies it seeks.

Other issues the Court addressed was whether Plaintiff had standing (the copyright registrations listed Plaintiff, its predecessor, someone else, or the works were purchased).  The Court further found questions of material fact, 1) whether there is evidence of direct infringement by third parties; (2) whether there is evidence of Cox’s contributory infringement; (3) whether there is evidence of Cox’s vicarious liability; and (4) whether BMG failed to mitigate its damages.  Lastly, the Court found that the "unclean hands" defense failed as a matter of law.

Most "BOSTON" Trademark Claims Dismissed In Dispute Between Former Band Members

Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-cv-10951 (D. Mass. Memo & Order Sep. 21, 2015).

In a trademark dispute between two original members of the band BOSTON, the Court dismissed most of the claims against a guitarist on the band's first two albums concerning the promotion of his current musical endeavors.  Plaintiff's direct trademark infringement claims were dismissed with respect to various advertisements and performances, as well as defendant's use of meta-tags on his website.  The contributory infringement claim survived summary judgment only with respect to defendant's invovlement with one band on the issue of direct control and monitoring of that band's advertisements and promotions.  Plaintiff's claim for dilution by tarnishment failed because the alleged use, in connection with a political event, was not a use in commerce.  As to unfair competition under the Lanham Act and Mass. state common law, plaintiff failed to establish evidence of reputational injury.  As to breach of contract, plaintiff fialued to establish that defendant (and not third parties) violated a prior settlement agreement by deviating from the agreed to term "formerly of BOSTON".  As to the "Truth In Music Statute," under Mass. state law, the Court found the statute applicable only to performances in Mass., and as to the two subject performances in the state, neither group sought to perform under the BOSTON name.

Grooveshark And Its Officers Liable For Copyright Infringment Based On Direct Uploads By Officers And Employees

UMG Recording, Inc. v. Escape Media Group, Inc. No. 1:11-cv-08407-TPG (S.D.N.Y. filed Sep. 29, 2014) [Doc. 100].

This case involved "Grooveshark" and the direct upload of plaintiffs' copyright music by defendant's officers and employees.  The Court granted plaintifss' motion for spoliation sanctions, and granted plaintiffs' summary judgment on nearly all of their claims.  As to spoliation sanctions, the Court found that defendants acted with a culpable state of mind when they deleted user upload information and relevant source code.  Based on the spoliation, the Court found that an individual defendant directly infringed plaintiffs' copyright recordings; however, the Court did not agree with plaintiffs' request that it find 10,000 instances of infringement and instead found that plaintiffs were entitled to judgment as a matter of law that that defendant illegally uploaded a small percentage (144) of the recordings.  Similarly, the Court found that the other employees uploaded a much smaller percentage  of additional files than requested by plaintiffs.

Turning to the summary judgment motion, the court first found that a certain expert report was admissible.  The Court then addressed defendants' affirmative defenses, and held that the claims were not barred by the statute of limitations, and that defendants' could not set forth a claim for equitable estoppel (or laches or waiver).  On plaintiffs' copyright claims, the Court found that plaintiffs established that defendants illegally uploaded 5,977 sound recordings (plaintiffs had requested a much higher number).  Accordingly, defendants were directly liable for infringement of plaintiffs' distribution, reproduction and public performance rights.  Further, Escape was liable for vicarious and inducement infringement because it had the ability to control its employee's infringing activity and instructed its employees to upload as many files as possible to Grooveshark as a condition of their employment.  Escape also materially contributed to the infringing employee uploads, and the Court granted plaintiffs summary judgment on their claim for contributory infringement.  The corporate officers were also liable., jointly and severally with the company.

Suit Against Kanye West Dismissed On "De Minimis" Grounds

Steward v. West, No. CV 13-02449 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2014).

In this copyright infringement action against Kanye West et al concerning a sample, the Court granted defendants' Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings.  On the motion, the Court considered the sound recordings and held that, while plaintiff's sound recordings were sufficiently original to be protectable, defendants' copying was de minimis.  "The result of these distortions and the short length of the samples is that the average audience would not recognize plaintiffs’ Song in any of Defendants’ songs without actively searching for it. In the Ninth Circuit, digital sampling is de minimis when 'the average audience would not recognize the appropriation.'"  Accordingly, the copyright infringement (and dependent contributory liability claims) were dismissed.

Publisher Not Liable For Contributory Liability In Sampling Case Because Lacked Knowledge

Prior v. Warner/Chappel, No. 13-4344 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 20, 2014).

The court dismissed plaintiff's contributory copyright infringement claim against defendant music publisher because the complaint failed to allege the defendant "knew or had reason to know that [the song] included an unauthorized, infringing sample...".  Moreover, the complaint failed to plausibly allege how the defendant knew that the directly infringing defendants would infringe as a result of the publisher's licensing of the song.

Aimee Mann Copyright Claim Survives Dismissal Based On Terminated License

Aimee Mann v. MediaNet Digital, Inc., et al., No. 2:13-cv-05269 (C.D. Cal. filed 11/27/13) [Doc. 26].

Plaintiff Aimee Mann (“Mann”), a songwriter and recording artist, brought this copyright infringement action against Defendant MediaNet Digital, Inc. (“MediaNet”), f/k/a MusicNet, a distributor of streaming music, online radio, and music downloads to companies like Songza, Stub Hub, Soundtracker, MTV, Yahoo Music, and Time Warner Cable (among others).  MediaNet moved to dismiss the copyright claims and Plaintiff's claim for rescission of a license agreement.  The Court denied the motion to dismiss the copyright claims, but dismissed the rescission claim with leave to replead.

On the copyright claims, MediaNet argued that Mann’s claim for direct infringement should be dismissed because: (i) MediaNet had a valid license at all relevant times and therefore cannot be liable for copyright
infringement, and (ii) the License Agreement was not terminated on December 4, 2006 as a matter of
law.  The Court found that MediaNet did not have a statutory compulsory license (17 U.S.C. 115).  The Court also found that the 2003 License Agreement was no longer in effect.  Relying on New York General Obligations Law § 5-903, Mann asserted that because MediaNet failed to alert her to the existence of the auto-renewal provision, the License Agreement was not automatically renewed after its initial term ended on December 4, 2006.  The Court agreed that the auto-renewal of the License Agreement is unenforceable under § 5-903. As such, Mann’s allegation that MediaNet exploited her pre-December 5, 2003 and post-December 4, 2006 compositions after the initial term of the License Agreement stated a claim for copyright infringement.  The Court further found that Mann had stated claims for secondary copyright liability (contributory, inducing and vicarious liability).

However, Mann's claim for rescission was dismissed with leave to replead.  The Court found rescission is an equitable remedy and that that Mann had failed to explain why the non-payment of royalties could not be adequately remedied by monetary damages. "This failure is fatal to her rescission claim."

Chubby Checker TM Claims Survive But State Law Claims Preempted By CDA

Evans et al. v. Hewlett Packard Co. et al., No. 3:13-cv-02477-WHA (N.D. Cal. filed 08/15/13) (Doc. 67).

Plaintiff is the artist known as "Chubby Checker" and various entities that own related trademarks.  This case concerns a software application called “The Chubby Checker” that is offered for sale/download on defendants' web-based store.  The app purports to estimate the size of a man’s genitals based on his shoe size.

The Court held that Plaintiff stated a claim for federal and common law trademark infringement.  The crux of defendants’ argument was that the complaint only attempts to plead claims for contributory infringement and not for direct infringement. To be liable for contributory infringement, defendants argue that they must have had actual knowledge of the infringement and yet continued to sell the app. Defendants urge that the complaint fails to allege either that defendants knew of the infringement or that defendants continued to sell the app after receiving plaintiffs’ cease-and-desist letter.  However, the Court disagreed, finding: "Construed favorably to the plaintiffs, these allegations are sufficient to permit an inference that defendants knew, or could have reasonably deduced that the owner of the Chubby Checker mark would never have consented to license the mark for such a vulgar purpose."

However, the Court held that Plaintifffs' state-law claims — violation of Pennsylvania’s unfair competition and trademark laws and Pennsylvania’s and California’s right of publicity statutes — were preempted by Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act (47 U.S.C. 230).  The Court found that defendants were internet service providers that host third-party content and not content providers, and defendants therefore enjoyed the broad immunity provided under Section 230 of the CDA from all state claims relating to publishing content created by third parties.

2d Cir Decision On DMCA Safe Harbor In Viacom v Youtube

Viacom v. YouTube (2d Cir. Apr. 5, 2012). Decision. Not a "music" case, but extremely important decision that will impact future infringement cases.

This appeal required the Second Circuit to clarify the contours of the “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that limits the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement that occurs “by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider.” 17 U.S.C. § 512(c). The District Court held that the defendants were entitled to DMCA safe harbor protection primarily because they had insufficient notice of the particular infringements in suit. The Second Circuit held:


We conclude that the District Court correctly held that the § 512(c) safe harbor requires knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity, but we vacate the order granting summary judgment because a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website. We further hold that the District Court erred by interpreting the “right and ability to control” provision to require “item-specific” knowledge. Finally, we affirm the District Court’s holding that three of the challenged YouTube software functions fall within the safe harbor for infringement that occurs “by reason of” user storage; we remand for further fact-finding with respect to a fourth software function.


Lyricist's Suit Against Video Game Developer Survives

Greer v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. 10-cv-3601 (N.D. Cal. order filed Feb. 1, 2012) [Doc. 96].

In this copyright infringement action, plaintiff contended that defendant improperly used a
sound recording and the lyrics of a song by incorporating them into a widely-distributed videogame. Defendant moved for summary judgment on three independent grounds. Although two of defendant’s three arguments presented close calls, triable issues of fact existed that precluded summary judgment, and the motion was denied.

Facts: Plaintiff was a member of a band that registered a copyright relating to an album the band had recorded, which included the song at issue. Plaintiff subsequently filed a correction to the registration to clarify that he claimed sole copyright to the lyrics of the song. One of Plaintiff's band mates was employed by a video game developer, and was working to create a soundtrack for a video game that was being was developed. The band mate chose to include the song as part of the soundtrack for the game. The band mate and two other band members submitted declarations stating that all of the band members executed a written license agreement giving the developer the right to use the song in the game in exchange for one dollar and acknowledgement in the on-screen credits of the game. No signed copy of such a license agreement was located, and Plaintiff denied ever being asked to sign a license agreement, and alleges that he did not become aware that the song had been incorporated into the game until 2009.

Discussion: First, the court addressed issues with the registration of the album containing the song as a "PA" (performing arts), in contrast to registration on a form "SR" (sound recording). While Form SR may be used to register both the underlying composition and the
sound recording if separate registrations are not necessary or desired, nothing on Form PA permits it to be used to register a sound recording. Thus, defendant was correct that the band’s recorded performance of the song that was used in the game was never registered. That fact, however, wasnot fatal to plaintiff's claims, because plaintiff's complaint specifically identified by registration number the copyrighted work that plaintiff alleged had been unlawfully copied. While the complaint also repeatedly asserted the erroneous legal conclusion that the registration was of the sound recording (as opposed to the underlying musical composition) the facts alleged were sufficient to state a claim for infringement of the musical composition. There was no dispute that the band's performance of the song incorporated in the game was a performance of the underlying composition.

Second, the Court analyzed the competing arguments about the existence of a license. The Court concluded that the record did not permit a conclusion on summary judgment that the license agreement was ever signed, either in the unsigned form of the document defendant hadsubmitted, or in any form. While the recollections on both sides were vague, they were in direct conflict.

Third, the Court analyzed the defense of laches. Defendant made a compelling showing that this was a case in which laches may ultimately apply to bar at least some portion of plaintiff's claims. Among other things, the evidentiary prejudice was manifest in the witnesses’ fading memories and the uncertainty in the documentary record as to whether the license agreement was ever signed. The critical question, however, was when plaintiff knew or should have known that the song had been incorporated into the game. Plaintiff's testimony that he did not learn of the song’s use in the game until 2009 was sufficient to create a triable issue of fact as to his actual knowledge. If the trier of fact accepts the testimony that the possibility of using the song in the game was discussed at length prior to plaintiff's departure from the band, he more likely can be held to a duty of some inquiry, even assuming he never saw or signed the license agreement. Defendant had not shown, however, that undisputed facts compel a finding that plaintiff was on constructive notice as early as 1995, or at any particular time thereafter. Finally, defendant had not established that laches necessarily would bar plaintiff from seeking injunctive relief against any ongoing infringement, even assuming it ultimately bars some or all of his claims for past damages.

ReDigi Sued For Copyright Infringement

Capital Records Inc. v. ReDigi Inc., No. 1:12-cv-00095 (SDNY filed 1/6/2012).

Plaintiff alleges copyright infringement arising from defendant's contributory, vicarious, and inducement of the willful and systemic use of plaintiff's original sound recordings on defendant's "ReDigi" music service. Defendant is an internet business whose stated purpose is to help consumers buy and sell "used" digital music files. Plaintiff seeks $150,000 per infringement (maximum statutory damages for willful infringement).

EMI Sues Video Sharing Website

EMI has filed two related complaints, one by its labels and the other by its publishing units, against the video-sharing website Vimeo .

Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC
, No. 09 CV 10101-DAB (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Dec. 10, 2009); and, EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. v. Vimeo, LLC, No. 09 CV 10105 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed December 10, 2009).

Both complaints claim direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, and inducement to infringe. The Capitol complaint includes misappropriation and unjust enrichment claims.


Don Henley Complaint Against Politician

Don Henley v. Devore, No. 09 Cv. 0481-JVS (C.D. Cal. complaint filed 4/17/2009)


"This action arises out of the wholesale appropriation and exploitation by Defendants DeVore and Hart of the well-known and valuable song "The Boys of Summer," written by Plaintiffs Don Henley and Mike CampbelL. Defendants' infringing conduct is unauthorized, brazenly wilful, and pursued solely in order to promote DeVore and Hart's personal and professional agenda. Openly flouting Henley and Campbell's intellectual property rights, DeVore and Hart copied almost
all of Henley and Campbell's copyrighted musical composition note for note and, altering the lyrics to suit their own purpose and using a recorded performance of the work to mimic the original Henley recording, produced and distributed a video featuring Henley and Campbell's song (the "Boys of Summer Video"). DeVore and Hart's avowed aim in doingthis was to use the Boys of Summer Video to promote DeVore's campaign for th~ Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

EMI Sues Seeqpod & Favtape.com

Capitol Records LLC et. al. v. Seeqpod, Inc., No. 09 cv 1584 (S.D.N.Y. filed 2/20/09).

"The Seeqpod site and service are designed to, and do, encourage and facilitate the search for, and the unlawful production, distribution and public performance of, copyrighted sound recordings and the copyrighted compositions embodied therein. In response to a user's query for a particular recording or recording artist, SeeqPod's proprietary algorithims - which SeeqPod's CEO and founder, Kazian Franks refers to as SeeqPod's "targeted crawling system" - crawl the Internet specifically to locate and index unlawful MP3 files of copyrighted sound recordings and compositions. SeeqPod then formats and presents the results as direct links to those unlawful files. A click on any one of these links will automatically cause the recording and composition to be reproduced and performed, via "streaming" technology, on and via SeeqPod's own MP3 software "player."

Paragraph 48.

Project Playlist - Sued by RIAA


The RIAA sued Project Playlist in the Southern District of New York for primary copyright infringement, secondary, infringment, common law infringement of pre-72 recordings, and unfair competition (pre-72 only). Atlantic Recording Corp. et. al v. Project Playlist, Inc., No. 08-cv-3922-DC (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed April 28, 2008). The theme of Plaintiffs' allegations can be summarized as follows: "Project Playlist therefore sets about to increase its user base and profits – all at Plaintiffs’ expense – by portraying itself as an innovative way to find music on the Internet. However, theft is not innovation, and the Internet does not grant a license to steal." (Compl. para. 4).



Read this doc on Scribd: Atlantic v Project Playlist COMPLAINT

Online Common Law Copyright Infringement (P2P)


In UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., No. 08-600558 (Sup.Ct., N.Y. Co. complaint filed Feb. 25, 2008), major label UMG sued on-line company Veoh for common-law copyright infringement under New York law for alleged infringement of Pre-1972 recordings. "The need for New York to protect UMG's property rights in the Pre-1972 Recordings is particularly urgent because UMG's property is being taken and virallly distributed over the Internet by [Veoh]." (Compl. at 4.) Is this the first case in New York state to describe certain on-line distribution patterns as viral?

As plaintiff notes, pre-1972 sound recordings are subject to protection under New York State law. Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of American, Inc., 4 N.Y.3d 540, 830 N.E.2d 250 (2005). But given that the complaint lacks any claims for copyright infringement of plaintiff's interests in post-1972 sound recordings under the federal Copyright Act, is this a test-case? Presumably, post-1972 recordings are available (e.g., synched to videos) on Veoh.

Let's examine the allegations:


Veoh's use of the Pre-1972 Recordings in violation of UMG's rights under New York law is part of Veoh's strategy to become one of the Internet's most popular and valuable 'video sharing' websites, and to thereby attract advertising dollars and tens of millions of dollars of venture capital investment and increase the value of its services...the harm that Veoh causes to UMG, including in the new, developing, and crucial Internet market, is enormous.

Veoh's website is later described as "where thousands of audiovisual works copied by Veoh are available for immediate viewing, downloading, and other forms of so called 'sharing.'"

Many of the audiovisual works on Veoh's website embody the Pre-1972 Recordings...that are synchronized with commercial works such as television programs, documentaries, and other expensive, professionally-made videos. The Pre-1072 Recordings that are embodied in the audiovisual works on Veoh's website are integral to those audiovisual works and to their appeal and popularity.

...

Veoh refuses to employ simple safeguards available to it and used by various of its competitors to avoid unlawful copying and distribution of works owned by others...

So, in sum: the alleged infringement arises out of Pre-1972 recordings synced to videos (whether such synchronization was authorized is not alleged), and Veoh is doing nothing to stop it. As the complaint alleges, "Defendants' conduct is...a classic attempt to 'reap where they have not sown'..."

In fact, the complaint uses such buzz words as "encourage, induce, and enable members" -- indicating a contributory infringement theory under state law. Thus, it appears that plaintiff is positioning this case to be the State's parallel to federal jurisprudence on P2P contributory infringement. (Grokster.) However, without 17 USC 101 et seq., Plaintiff is relying on common law copyright infringement and misappropriation, and unjust enrichment.

And being outside the scope of the federal Copyright Law, they may have valid claims for punitive/exemplary damages, in addition to profits and injunctive relief.

But, it is curious that Plaintiff's make allegations regarding Veoh's failure to apply safe-guards. Whereas defendants might have refuge in the Copyright Act's "safe-harbor" provisions (DMCA), is the same protection available under state copyright law? And if not, what leverage does that provide digital content producers in their claims against ISPs, at least with respect to pre-1972 recordings?

[Request a copy of the complaint.]