Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pearson v Aurora, reviewing factors for statutory damage awards in copyright cases

In Pearson Education v. Aurora, a commercial copyright infringement case against a pro se defendant, in which District Judge Shira A. Sheindlin awarded the plaintiff $50,250.00, or $750 per infringed work, in statutory damages, at the plaintiffs' request, the Court noted the factors to be considered in determining the amount of statutory damages:


In calculating the amount of statutory damages to award for copyright infringement, courts consider: "(1) the infringer's state of mind; (2) the expenses saved, and profits earned, by the infringer; (3) the revenue lost by the copyright holder; (4) the deterrent effect on the infringer and third parties; (5) the infringer's cooperation in providing evidence concerning the value of the infringing material; and (6) the conduct and attitude of the parties." (fn 40) [Bryant v. Media Right Prods., No. 09 Civ. 2600, 2010 WL 1659113, at *6 (2d Cir. Apr. 27, 2010) (citing N.A.S. Import, Corp. v. Chenson Enters., Inc., 968 F.2d 250, 252-53 (2d Cir. 1993)]

Opinion and Order



Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player

7 comments:

Travis said...

If they have to consider conduct and attitude the RIAA could be screwed.

Matt Fitzpatrick said...

Wow, just when I thought only DVDs and video games had region encoding.

Looks like copyright law today is being used to "region encode" not just textbooks, but tangible goods, such as watches. According to this article, SCOTUS will hear copyright defendant Costco's appeal from the 9th Circuit judgment against them. Costco was sued for copyright infringement by Omega for importing and reselling foreign-built Omega watches; the watches have a tiny design on them that Omega registered with the Copyright Office.

Is this what copyright is coming to? Negating first sale doctrine for foreign-built goods, rewarding U.S. companies for shipping their manufacturing jobs elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

The conduct and attitude factor is worrying considering that it can swing both ways. Also the factor that considers the infringer's cooperation in providing evidence concerning the value of the infringing material seems likely to erode an alleged copyright infringer's ability to defend herself. It obviously serves to penalize those who defend themselves on every aspect of a case.

mathinker said...

@ Matt F

Your comment contains the answer to its own question:

Is this what copyright is coming to? ... rewarding ... companies ...

Any kind of balance of societal benefit vs. commercial benefit has been lost long ago.

Ray Beckerman said...

Anonymous comment rejected because no "handle" provided.

Jillian said...

Notice as well that the Publishers are targeting low-income individuals. Why is it that the Publishers purchased items from the Defendant a year prior but fail to notify them until a lawsuit?

Is this what copyright law is for? To take advantage of those who may not entirely understand it? It seems to be like an excellent profit scheme.

Also, they never state what the losses are to the Publishers per alleged infringement?

Ray Beckerman said...

I agree Jillian.

Low class lawyers are turning copyright law into a brutal instrument of bullying & oppression, which is why I started this blog in the first place.

All I can say is:

copyright practice hasn't always been this way; and
hopefully a day will come when it is no longer this way.

But for now a bunch of monkeys in suits are lowering the dignity of copyright law practice.

It is a shame.