May 16, 2013

Jenner & Block secured a victory for client UMG Recordings, Inc.when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Yorkgranted its motion for reconsideration and vacated its decision granting defendant MP3tunes and its principal a safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and permitted UMG’s case to go to the jury. 

The matter dates back to 2007, when 14 EMI Group labels (now owned by UMG) sued MP3tunesLLC, claiming that it had infringed EMI’s copyrights.  In 2011, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ruled that the MP3tunes qualified for a safe harbor pursuant to the DMCA.  In February 2013, EMI argued that the Second Circuit’s Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube Inc. decision meant that courts must consider whether service providers were willfully blind to infringement before granting DMCA protection. 

On May 14, Judge Pauley granted EMI’s motion to reconsider his earlier ruling, saying the Viacom ruling requires district courts to investigate the issue of willful blindness before determining if a party is entitled to DMCA protections.The Court also vacated its decision finding that MP3tunes did not have “red flag” knowledge of infringing content and directed trial on that issue as well. The team representing EMI on the Motion for Reconsideration included Partners Andrew H. Bart and Luke C. Platzer and Associates J. Douglas Wilson and Joseph P. FishmanNews of the motion to reconsider was covered in Law360 and Thomson Reuters.