3 Count: Jury Remand

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1: Ninth Circuit Sends Photo Copyright Case Back for Jury Trial

First off today, Alec Pronk at IP Watchdog reports that the Ninth Circuit has sent a photography case back to the lower court for a new jury trial, ruling that a judge improperly issued a ruling on the case without allowing it to be heard by a jury.

The case pits photographer Jim Erickson against Kraig Kast. Erickson, through his company Erickson Productions, sued Kast alleging that Kast illegally used three copyright-protected photos of his on his developmental website. The case went to a jury and the jury awarded $450,000 in damages after finding that Kast willfully infringed on the copyright.

However, Ninth Circuit overturned that jury award, saying that there was an error in the jury instruction. As such, a new trial was needed. But the judge did not grant a new jury trial and instead ruled on the matters himself, once again awarding Erickson $450,000 in damages. The Ninth Circuit has now overturned that, saying that a new jury trial is needed on multiple issues in the case.

2: Uberspace Owner Hits Out at youtube-dl Ruling, Vows to Appeal

Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the German web hosting company Uberspace has decried a recent ruling against them and has vowed to appeal rather than take down the site for youtube-dl.

The application youtube-dl is a tool that enables users to download videos from YouTube. It’s used by many of the stream ripping sites that let users download videos and audio files of YouTube content. According to rightsholders, this is circumventing YouTube’s digital rights management tools, which is a violation of copyright law in many locations.

The record industry has been seeking removal of the youtube-dl website and even took Uberspace to court compel that action. The lower court ruled in favor of the record labels, saying that Uberspace should remove the site, but now the company has promised to appeal that verdict.

3: Buffalo Mural Stirs Up Copyright Controversy

Finally today, Patrick Ryan at InformNNY reports that a mural by artist Casey Milbrand has begun to cause a copyright controversy after the artist has targeted several local organizations with copyright complaints.

Milbrand painted the Greetings from Buffalo mural, which has become very popular with locals, visitors and businesses alike. However, Marc Moscato, the owner of Buffalo Bike Tours, used photo ops from the mural on his website, he received a $5,000 bill in the mail. Moscato says that his business isn’t profitable and that he doesn’t have $5,000 to pay. He also said that he removed the images from his site.

However, Milbrand has accused Moscato of bullying via email and her lawyer has said that a lawsuit is coming with the intent to “take it all the way”. In addition to Moscato, Milbrand sent a similar invoice to the University of Buffalo for photos on its site. In that case, she was seeking $180,000 in fees.

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