Justia U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Internet Law
MidlevelU, Inc. v. ACI Information Group
After a blog operator filed suit against a content aggregator for copyright infringement after the aggregator copied and published the blog's content, the jury ruled in favor of the blog operator. At issue is whether the district court should have allowed the jury to decide whether the aggregator had an implied license to copy and publish the blog's content.The Eleventh Circuit concluded that, although the district court employed a too narrow understanding of an implied license, a jury could not have reasonably inferred that the blog impliedly granted the aggregator a license to copy and publish its content. In this case, the district court erred by granting judgment as a matter of law against the aggregator on its implied-license defense; the district court did not err by instructing the jury that it could consider unregistered articles in its calculation of statutory damages; the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying the aggregator's motion for a new trial on the basis of the jury's statutory-damages award; the district court did not err by failing to consult with the register of copyrights about the alleged fraud on the copyright office; and the aggregator is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law on its fair-use defense. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment against the aggregator. View "MidlevelU, Inc. v. ACI Information Group" on Justia Law
Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Via Varejo in an action brought by Direct Niche under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), seeking to obtain a declaratory judgment that its registration and use of the domain name casasbahia.com was not unlawful under the ACPA. At issue on appeal was whether Via Varejo owned the Casas Bahia service mark in the United States. The court held that Via Varejo owns the Casas Bahia service mark in the United States where it contracted with U.S. companies to provide advertising of their goods on the Casas Bahia website. Furthermore, Via Varejo's marketing director testified to his personal knowledge that the Casas Bahia Website receives millions of visits every year from IP addresses located in the United States. Therefore, the district court's conclusion that the evidence demonstrated sufficient public use in commerce to establish ownership of the mark was not clearly erroneous. View "Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A" on Justia Law
Perry v. Cable News Network, Inc.
Plaintiff filed suit under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2710, alleging that the CNN App, without a user's knowledge, both tracks the user's views of news articles and videos and also collects a record of this viewing activity. CNN sends the collected record of viewing activity to Bango, a third party company. Bango is able to compile personal information, including the user's name, location, phone number, email address, and payment information, and it can attribute this information to a single user across different devices and platforms. The district court dismissed the amended complaint. The court held that a plaintiff, such as the one in this case, satisfied the concreteness requirement of Article III standing where the plaintiff alleges a violation of the VPPA for wrongful disclosure. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiff is not a "subscriber" as defined by the VPPA such that CNN may be held liable. The court noted that it need not address whether CNN provided plaintiff's "personally identifiable information" to a third party. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Perry v. Cable News Network, Inc." on Justia Law
Brown Jordan International, Inc. v. Carmicle
The parties filed cross-complaints after Christopher Carmicle was terminated from Brown Jordan. After the district court entered judgment for Brown Jordan, Carmicle appealed. Carmicle raised issues regarding the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, the Stored Communications Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C. 2701, wrongful discharge, and breach of an employment agreement. The court concluded that Carmicle’s CFAA arguments fail because Brown Jordan suffered “loss” as defined in the CFAA; Carmicle waived his unopened-versus-opened-email argument under the SCA because he did not fairly present it to the district court, and Brown Jordan showed Carmicle exceeded his authorization in accessing the emails of other Brown Jordan employees; and the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on Carmicle’s wrongful discharge claim or in concluding that Carmicle was terminated for cause as defined by the Employment Agreement. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Brown Jordan International, Inc. v. Carmicle" on Justia Law
JYSK Bed’N Linen v. Dutta-Roy
Defendant appealed the district court's grant of an injunction requiring defendant to transfer to defendant four domain names he had registered in his own name and grant of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on defendant's counterclaims. The court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain defendant's appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1291, because there are still pending claims brought against defendant under sections 43(a) and (c) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) and (c), and state law. The court concluded, however, that it has jurisdiction to review the district court's injunction under 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1). The court held that the re-registration of bydesignfurniture.com constituted a registration under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. 1125, and that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of its ACPA claim. Accordingly, the court concluded that the issuance of the preliminary injunction did not constitute an abuse of discretion and affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "JYSK Bed'N Linen v. Dutta-Roy" on Justia Law
Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Ctr.
After Dr. Paul B. Tartell and Dr. Lee M. Mandel split their practices, Dr. Mandel registered six domain names with variations of Dr. Tartell’s name. Dr. Tartell then filed a complaint against Dr. Mandel, his incorporated practice, and another corporation owned by Dr. Mandel for cybersquatting, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. The court concluded that the district court clearly erred by ruling that Dr. Tartell's name had acquired secondary meaning in the minds of consumers. Although Dr. Tartell produced some evidence relevant to the Conagra, Inc. v. Singleton factors, he failed to produce any substantial evidence of what his name denotes to the consumer; Dr. Tartell’s evidence about the use of his name in academic settings and evidence about his reputation among other medical professionals are not probative of whether his name had acquired secondary meaning; Dr. Tartell produced no substantial evidence to demonstrate the degree of actual recognition by the public; and Dr. Tartell’s remaining evidence says nothing about the perceptions of consumers. Accordingly, the court reversed and rendered judgment in favor of Dr. Mandel and his corporations. View "Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Ctr." on Justia Law
United States v. Serrapio, Jr.
Defendant was sentenced to three years probation for threatening to shoot President Obama on defendant's Facebook page. Afterwards, defendant spoke to a reporter for his college newspaper, saying that his ordeal was "pretty funny," that he could not be imprisoned in his "own house," and that a lot of good had come out of his case, including his rock band because a "lot of people showed up [to one of his shows] to see the kid who threatened to kill the [P]resident." The district court, upon learning of these comments, modified the conditions of probation to include 45 days in a halfway house and one year of home confinement with electronic monitoring. Defendant appealed. The court concluded that defendant's appeal was moot to the extent that it challenged the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include a 45-day term in a halfway house; the appeal was not moot with respect to the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include an additional eight months in home confinement with electronic monitoring; where 18 U.S.C. 3563(c) permits modification when a defendant's post-sentencing conduct shows that the original conditions were not sufficient to accomplish the purposes of probation, the home confinement modification did not violate defendant's rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause; the home confinement modification did not violate the Due Process Clause where, assuming there was any error, it did not seriously affect the fairness of the proceedings; and the home confinement modification did not violate the First Amendment where defendant's post-sentencing comments were relevant to the conditions of probation because they indicated that defendant did not grasp the seriousness of his conduct and did not think much of the probationary sentence he had received, and defendant was not punished for any abstract beliefs. Accordingly, the court dismissed in part and affirmed in part. View "United States v. Serrapio, Jr." on Justia Law