Happy New Year & a News Catch-Up

Hello and happy new year, peeps! As there’s no better way to begin a 7-day-old new year than by catching up on the current state of some law suits that I’ve been following (is there?), let’s us jump into right into it:

  • The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust dispute has received a ruling at the district court’s level. As you may recall, the ruling went against the Authors Guild. The Guild has since filed an appeal to the Second Circuit of Appeals, and that is, as far as I know, the last development in the case. You guys want to start a betting pool on whether the Second Circuit will hear the appeal?
  • A second suit the Association for Information Media & Equipment (AIME) filed against the University of California has, like the first, been dismissed. AIME alleged that the UC had infringed its copyright by ripping its DVDs to create streaming videos for students’ instruction. The suit was dismissed once due to several factors, including the UC’s immunity from being sued in federal court and AIME’s lack of standing. AIME had refiled, and again its suit was dismissed on the same grounds. I would guess that this is the end of the road for this particular suit but will make sure to update this post if a new development arises.
  • The pending Random House Penguin merger has resulted in Penguin settling with the Department of Justice in the e-book antritrust case. The DOJ brought suit alleging price fixing among five publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Macmillian) and Apple when the publishers switched to the agency pricing model in selling their e-books. Prior to Penguin’s settlement, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster had settled as well. This leaves Apple and Macmallian as the remaining parties fighting the DOJ suit. Interestingly, all parties had settled a similar suit brought by the European Union. I’d like to read an account of the economic and legal calculations that led the parties to pursue different courses of actions in the two cases. Let me know if you know of any such account.

What new litigation do you think the new year will bring us?

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