Request for Court to Apply Abrogated Fair Use Rule Does Not Warrant “Draconian” Fee Shifting​

After granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment of no infringement, the court denied defendant’s motion for attorney fees because plaintiff’s copyright claim was not frivolous. “⁠[T]he fact that [defendant’s] works were clear parodies of [plaintiff’s] works was not dispositive. Instead . . . [plaintiff’s] copyright claim turned on the application of a fact intensive, multifactor test. In part for that reason, the Court cannot say that [plaintiff’s] arguments were frivolous or baseless, let alone that the company itself believed them to be so. . . . [Defendant] properly takes [defendant] to task for urging the Second Circuit to apply a rule (namely, that commercial uses of copyrighted material are presumptively unfair) that was abrogated by the Supreme Court in [Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994)]. But that impropriety does not, by itself, call for the draconian shifting of fees. And finally, [defendant’s] own contentions that [plaintiff] dedicated insufficient space in its briefs and performed a conclusory analysis to rebut [defendant’s] fair use defense are unavailing. . . . [Plaintiff’s] copyright claim was not so weak as to render its pursuit exceptional, thereby warranting a fee award.”

Louis Vuitton Malletier, SA v. My Other Bag, Inc., 1-14-cv-03419 (NYSD 2018-01-08, Order) (Jesse M. Furman)

2018-01-11T13:36:03+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|