SoCal IP Institute

Please join us for the SoCal IP Institute meeting, Monday, January 24 at Noon. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to  Amanda Jones by 9 am Monday.

We will be discussing the following:

UMG Recordings v. Augusto, No. 08-55998 (9th Cir. Jan. 04, 2011) (case attached)  UMG routinely sends out promotional compact discs intended for radio djs, music promoters and similarly situated individuals.  These CDs include a label that indicates that they are not for resale.  Mr. Augusto acquired a number of these CDs and was offering them for sale on eBay.  The question presented to the 9th Circuit was whether UMG’s unsolicited mailing of these promotional CDs was a “first sale” within the meaning of that defense.  The 9th Circuit affirmed the lower court decision that the first sale doctrine applied, thus providing Mr. Augusto a defense to copyright infringement.

MDY Indus. V. Blizzard Entertainment, No. 09-15932  (9th Cir. Dec. 14, 2010) (case attached) This case is the most recent turn in a long-running dispute between software publisher Blizzard and MDY which created and sells a “bot” program for use with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft game.  Essentially, this “bot” enables a computer to play the game without external input from a user.  MDY initially sought declaratory judgment that its activities did not infringe any Blizzard copyrights.  The district court decision appealed by MDY at this stage found that MDY secondarily infringed Blizzard’s copyrights and that MDY violated sections 1201(a)(2) and (b)(1) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The 9th Circuit decision reversed all of those holdings except MDY’s violation of DMCA § 1201(a)(2), the provision that prohibits trafficking in technology that circumvents a technological measure that controls access to a copyrighted work. The case was remanded for consideration of a tortuous interference with contract claim.