This November marks the 225th anniversary of the District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the court has announced a series of events to commemorate and celebrate that anniversary. Events kick off on November 4 with a special session and reception, and will include a reenactment of the Pentagon Papers case, a

Today, Judge Chin granted summary judgment in favor of Google in an action brought by the Authors Guild and certain individual authors alleging that Google’s digitization of more than 20 million books owned by certain research and university libraries which are then provided to the contributing libraries in their entirety, and made available – in snippets – via Google Books, is violative of the Copyright Act.
Continue Reading Google Wins Summary Judgment in Authors’ Case Against Google Books

Today Judge Nathan largely granted a series of dismissal motions in an investor lawsuit against Harbinger Capital and certain affiliates.   She summarized the case as follows:  “At core, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants marketed the Funds as diversified, distressed-debt and credit-driven hedge funds, but in fact used the Funds to take a large ownership interest in LightSquared”—a wireless broadband company—“without adequately disclosing this shift in strategy or its attendant risks.” Judge Nathan dismissed with prejudice all or part of seven of the lawsuit’s nine causes of action, including plaintiffs’ direct claims relating to LightSquared, and all derivative claims brought on behalf of  three of the six nominal defendants.
Continue Reading Judge Nathan Narrows Harbinger Investor Suit; Grants Plaintiffs Standing to Sue on Behalf of Funds in Which They Did Not Invest

Less than a month ago, Judge Cote found Apple liable for knowingly participating in an illegal price-fixing conspiracy with five book publishers to raise e-book prices and eliminate price competition in violation of the antitrust laws.  This morning, the Department of Justice, joined by thirty-three state attorneys general, filed a brief in support of their proposed remedial injunction which would require Apple “to take proactive steps to ameliorate the harm its conspiracy caused to competition and consumers” including by permitting any e-book retailer offering e-books through Apple’s App Store “include in its e-book app a hyperlink to its own e-bookstore, without paying any fee or commission to Apple.”  A hearing on remedies is set for August 9.
Continue Reading DOJ and State AGs Propose a Remedy in Apple E-Books Price-Fixing Case

In the defamation action stemming from a 2010 New Yorker profile of  Peter Paul Biro (a specialist in art authentication through fingerprint analysis who was featured in the documentary  Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?), Judge Oetken yesterday granted a motion  for judgment on the pleadings filed by the New Yorker Defendants (Conde Nast, and David Grann, the profile’s author), and motions to dismiss filed by the Republisher Defendants (Yale University Press, editor Paddy Johnson, Gawker Media, and Business Insider).
Continue Reading Judge Oetken Dismisses Claims in Biro Defamation Lawsuit Relating to New Yorker Article

Emma Thompson and her husband, Greg Wise, wrote a screenplay about the love triangle between John Ruskin – an influential art critic of the Victorian era – his teenage bride,  Euphemia (“Effie”)  Gray, and John Everett Millais, Ruskin’s protégé. That screenplay has since been turned into a movie – Effie – starring Thompson, Wise, Dakota Fanning, Tom Sturridge, and Robbie Coltrane, due to be released this year.  On Wednesday, Judge Griesa granted Effie Film’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in an action it had filed against Gregory Murphy for a declaration that the “Effie” screenplay does not infringe upon Mr. Murphy’s copyright in “The Countess” – a play and screenplay he authored based upon the same historical events.
Continue Reading Judge Griesa Declares Forthcoming Emma Thompson Film “Effie” Not Infringing of Play Based on Same Historical Events