August 17, 2020

Law360 named three Jenner & Block copyright victories to its top 10 list of “blockbuster decisions, at the high court and beyond, that shaped copyright law into what it is today.” Ranked among the list of decisions that “remade the copyright landscape” are Capitol Records v. MP3tunes, ABC v. Aereo, and Viacom v. YouTube.

Led by Partners Andrew H. Bart and Luke C. Platzer, client Capitol Records won a resounding Second Circuit victory in a long-running copyright infringement case involving key aspects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's system of notice and takedown, including when sites must terminate "repeat infringers." The Second Circuit both affirmed a lower court’s decision that MP3tunes, LLC (a now-bankrupt online music storage locker service) and its former CEO reproduced and distributed EMI’s copyrighted works without permission and significantly reinstated the accompanying jury verdict against the defendants.

In the profile, Law360 notes that the decision was an important win for copyright owners who want websites and service providers to take a more aggressive approach to policing online piracy.

"After nearly a decade of watching the usefulness of the DMCA contract through judicial opinions, this was somewhat of a sea change," Mr. Bart said in the profile.

In ABC v. Aereo, Partner Richard L. Stone led a firm team in the US Supreme Court win on behalf of broadcast networks in their long-running litigation against Aereo, barring the online streaming service from retransmitting television broadcasts of live programming. Team members included Partners Amy M. Gallegos, Matthew E. Price, Julie Ann Shepard, and Christopher S. Lindsay.

Partners Susan J. Kohlmann and Matthew S. Hellman led Viacom in the Second Circuit victory that “cemented the modern understanding of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's system of notice and takedown.” At issue was Viacom’s claims that YouTube allowed users to clips from TV shows without authorization. After a lower court held that YouTube was protected from copyright infringement liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provision, the Second Circuit revived Viacom’s $1 billion copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, Inc. by vacating the court’s ruling and remanding the case, finding that there was evidence YouTube knew of infringing activity and disqualifying it from safe harbor protection.