Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Brinker Manufacturing Jewelers Inc. v. Rogers Galleria Jewelers

Defendants are accused of having repeatedly copied Plaintiff’s advertising marketing and branding including copying the design of Plaintiff’s showroom and jewelry boxes, interfering with Plaintiff’s exclusive vendor contracts, and copying and/or plagiarizing several of Plaintiff’s taglines and written advertisements.

Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-00134-RLY-WGH
File Date: Monday, September 29, 2014
Plaintiff: Brinker Manufacturing Jewelers Inc., South Central Communications Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: Jean M. Blanton of Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders LLP, Nick J. Cirignano
Defendant: Rogers Galleria Jewelers LLC, Tyna Wheat, Sharon Sartore
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement, Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, Deceptive Trade Practices, Conversion, Misappropriation of Advertising Ideas and Style of Doing Business, Tortious Interference with Business Relations
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr.

Concert Photographer Files 3 More Copyright Lawsuits over Violation of Creative Commons License

Plaintiff is a concert photographer. He posted photographs (of Willie Nelson and Chris Daughtry) to Wikimedia under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Generic license. The defendants have all allegedly used Plaintiff’s photograph(s) on their respective websites without giving proper credit to Plaintiff. Plaintiff is representing himself in these lawsuits and has filed similar complaints previously (Related Cases).

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01357-TWP-DML
File Date: Monday, August 18, 2014
Plaintiff: Larry G. Philpot
Plaintiff Counsel: Larry G. Philpot – Pro Se
Defendant: Mansion America, LLC, Oak Ridge Boys Theater
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01356-SEB-DML
File Date: Monday, August 18, 2014
Plaintiff: Larry G. Philpot
Plaintiff Counsel: Larry G. Philpot – Pro Se
Defendant: Bake Me A Wish, LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01377-LJM-MJD
File Date: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Plaintiff: Larry G. Philpot
Plaintiff Counsel: Larry G. Philpot – Pro Se
Defendant: Everything Brooklyn Media LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Larry J. McKinney
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Representative Complaint

Dallas Buyers Club BitTorrent Lawsuits Filed Against 80 John Doe Defendants

4 new BitTorrent download cases, with 80 John Doe defendants, have been filed in Indiana involving the film Dallas Buyers Club. Each lawsuit has one claim of copyright infringement.

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-24
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01145-WTL-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Plaintiff: Dallas Buyers Club LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Keith A. Vogt of Takiguchi & Vogt LLP
Defendant: Does 1-24
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-20
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01144-JMS-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Plaintiff: Dallas Buyers Club LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Keith A. Vogt of Takiguchi & Vogt LLP
Defendant: Does 1-20
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-20
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01142-SEB-DML
File Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Plaintiff: Dallas Buyers Club LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Keith A. Vogt of Takiguchi & Vogt LLP
Defendant: Does 1-20
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-16
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01141-WTL-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Plaintiff: Dallas Buyers Club LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Keith A. Vogt of Takiguchi & Vogt LLP
Defendant: Does 1-16
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Representative Complaint:

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation

Plaintiff is the owner of the copyright in a model of cultural competency titled “Cultural Competency in Healthcare Delivery: Have I ‘ASKED’ Myself the Right Questions?”. Defendants, teachers for Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, allegedly used a portion of Plaintiff’s model without permission in a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Culturally Competent Classroom Management” (see Exhibit C below).

The PowerPoint presentation was apparently part of New Teacher Orientation materials. While the Complaint doesn’t elaborate, it’s quite possible the Defendants’ use will qualify for a “fair use” exemption from copyright infringement. Copyright Act Section 107 specifically exempts uses of copyrighted works for, among other things, teaching and scholarship. Defendants’ Answer and/or Motion to Dismiss should provide more detailed information about their use of the Plaintiff’s copyrighted work. Stay tuned for updates.

Josepha Campinha-Bacote d/b/a Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation et al

Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-00056-RLY-WGH
File Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Plaintiff: Josepha Campinha-Bacote d/b/a Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates
Plaintiff Counsel: Avonte D. Campinha-Bacote of Campinha-Bacote LLP
Defendant: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Dionne Blue, Deborah Hartz
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr.

Complaint:

Exhibit C:

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Richard N. Bell v. Diversified Vehicle Services et al

INDY SKYLINEThe Plaintiff in this copyright lawsuit is an attorney and professional photographer living in McCordsville, Indiana. In 2000, Plaintiff took two photographs of the downtown Indianapolis skyline from a location on the Canal near the USS Indianapolis Memorial. Both of Plaintiff’s photographs were duly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and posted on the Internet in August 2000. All of the various defendants have allegedly utilized Plaintiff’s photographs on their respective websites without permission.

Website owners, you should immediately check your websites to determine whether you know the source of EVERY photograph. Unless you’re certain that you have permission to use the photographs (or qualify for some exception to copyright infringement like fair use), remove/replace the photographs at once. These photograph copyright lawsuits have been occurring for far too long to continue to plead ignorance or innocent infringement. Take your own photographs, hire a photographer or license existing photographs. But don’t get caught in a lawsuit because you take the easy way out and grab an image from Google.

Whatever you do, definitely don’t use Plaintiff’s photographs…he has a long history of litigation to enforce his copyrights:

Richard N. Bell v. Mark Arruda

Bell v. Indy Cleaning Pros

Richard N. Bell v. Greg Bayers LLC et al.

Richard N. Bell v. Jerry Gordon et al.

Richard Bell v. Cameron Taylor et al.

Richard N. Bell v. Diversified Vehicle Services et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00525
File Date: Monday, April 07, 2014
Plaintiff: Richard N. Bell
Plaintiff Counsel: Richard N. Bell – Pro Se
Defendant: Diversified Vehicle Services, Cameron Taylor, Taylor Computer Solutions, Rhonda Williams, Forensic Solutions Inc., Heath Garrett, Crestacom Inc., American Traveler Service Corp. LLC, Mike Cowper, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Easystreet Realty Indianapolis, Drohan Management, Metal Markets, Mattison Corporation, Industrial Heating Equipment Association, Junk Dawgs, Kimberly Hinds
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unfair Competition, Theft
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Countryman Nevada v. Does 1-16

They’re back! Just when you thought the BitTorrent download cases had stopped in Indiana, Nicoletti is back with a new lawsuit involving “Charlie Countryman,” a film starring Shia LaBeouf, Rupert Grint and Evan Rachel Wood. The film was released November 15, 2013 in the United States to largely negative reviews. Having failed at the box office, the producers have apparently turned to lawyers to recoup some of their costs from the 16 Hoosiers unlucky enough to have (allegedly) downloaded the film.

Countryman Nevada LLC v. Does 1-16

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00019-RLM-RBC
File Date: Friday, January 24, 2014
Plaintiff: Countryman Nevada LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: Does 1-16
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Granite Ridge Builders v. Ed Hollis et al

Here is yet another case involving misappropriated architectural drawings. Home builders, you should know by now that architectural drawings are protected by copyright law. If there’s a floor plan you really like, just pay for it! The price is beans (approx. $700-1500) against the cost of building a home.

Architectural Drawings

Granite Ridge Builders Inc v. Ed Hollis et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00007-TLS-RBC
File Date: Monday, January 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Granite Ridge Builders Inc
Plaintiff Counsel: Thomas B. Trent, Susan E. Trent, Mark W. Baeverstad of Rothberg Logan & Warsco LLP
Defendant: Ed Hollis, Sharon A. Miller, Old Dutch Homes Corp., Edward L. Kouder
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Contributory Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Theresa L Springmann
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Roger B Cosbey

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – National Photo Group v. Federated Media et al

This litigation involves the unauthorized use of celebrity photographs on a Fort Wayne country radio station’s website.

K105 Pictures

The lawsuit should serve as a reminder/warning to everyone operating a commercial website to only use photographs that:

  1. You own; or
  2. You have permission to use; or
  3. Are in the public domain.

This means going back through old pages and posts and removing/replacing unauthorized images. Failure to do this can result in expensive copyright litigation. If you have any questions about the photographs on your site, err on the side of caution and remove them until you’re able to properly determine ownership.

National Photo Group LLC v. Federated Media Inc. et al

Court Case Number: 3:13-cv-01405-PPS-CAN
File Date: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Plaintiff: National Photo Group LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Craig B. Sanders of Sanders Law PLLC
Defendant: Federated Media Inc., WQHK-FM
Cause: Direct Copyright Infringement, Contributory Copyright Infringement, Vicarious Copyright Infringement, Inducement of Copyright Infringement, Injunction, Attorney Fees and Costs
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Redwall Live v. ESG Security

Redwall Live Corporation v. ESG Security, Inc.

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-01849-SEB-DML
File Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Plaintiff: Redwall Live Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: Steven G. Cracraft of Brannon Sowers & Cracraft PC
Defendant: ESG Security, Inc.
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Silver Streak Industries v. Squire Boone Caverns

Fun case. The work at issue is a “whimsical representation of a mining ore car used to display polished stone and an accompanying brochure that lists the type of stones displayed.” Defendant Squire Boone Caverns, located in Harrison County, Indiana, is allegedly producing and selling an infringing ore car.

The Plaintiff does have a copyright registration for a 3-Dimensional sculpture for “Ore Card Display and Game Cards.” However, there will certainly be some functionality challenges to overcome.  Additionally, the Plaintiff will need to reconcile why the registration for a “wood constructed attraction” for game cards should extend to polished stones. Squire Boone’s ore car product is advertised in connection with polished stones. It’s not apparent from the Complaint or Exhibits whether the Squire Boone ore car is made from wood, plastic or metal.

This case will probably see a Motion to Dismiss so stay tuned. A design patent would have probably been the preferred method of intellectual property protection for the Plaintiff’s ore car.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.28.29 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.37.38 AM

Silver Streak Industries LLC v. Squire Boone Caverns Inc.

Court Case Number: 4:13-cv-00173-RLY-DML
File Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Plaintiff: Silver Streak Industries LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Van T. Willis, Ashley G. Eade of Kightlinger & Gray LLP
Defendant: Squire Boone Caverns Inc.
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Tortious Interference with Contract
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch