Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
February 17, 2017, Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California; April 5, 2017, Filed
[*1007] [***1166] M. SMITH, Circuit Judge:
Former student-athletes Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge allege that defendant T3Media, Inc. (T3Media) exploited their likenesses commercially [**5] by selling non-exclusive licenses permitting consumers to download photographs from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Photo Library for non-commercial art use. Maloney and Judge assert statutory and common law publicity-right claims and an unfair competition claim under California law. The district court held that the federal Copyright Act preempts plaintiffs' claims and granted T3Media's special motion to strike pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP statute. We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
A. The Parties
Plaintiffs Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge are former NCAA student-athletes who played for the Catholic University (CU) men's basketball team between 1997 and 2001. In their final year at CU, they made it all the way to the Division III national championship game, and helped lead the underdog Cardinals to an upset 76-62 victory over the William Paterson University Pioneers. The game's drama was captured in a series of photographs depicting the plaintiffs in play, and later posing as members of the team with CU's first-ever national championship trophy. The NCAA owns or controls the copyright to these photographs. It accordingly placed them into its collection, [**6] the NCAA Photo Library.
T3Media provides storage, hosting, and licensing services for a wide variety of digital content. In 2012, it contracted with the NCAA to store, host, and license the images in the NCAA Photo Library. The NCAA Photo Library itself contains thousands of photographs chronicling seventy years of NCAA sports history. Until 2014, T3Media made the photographs available to the public through its website, Paya.com.
Consumers could view digital thumbnails of the images contained in the NCAA Photo Library on Paya.com, and obtain for $20 to $30 a non-exclusive license permitting them to download a copy of a chosen photograph. Brief descriptions of the events depicted in the images accompanied the digital thumbnails.3 Users were also required [*1008] to assent to a "Content License Agreement" in order to download one of the photographs. Pursuant to that agreement, consumers could "use a single copy of the image for non-commercial art use." Consumers did not obtain "any right or license to use the name or likeness of any individual (including any athlete, announcer, or coach) appearing in the Content in connection with or as an express or implied endorsement of any product or service." [**7]
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
853 F.3d 1004 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5894 **; 122 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1165 ***; Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) P31,079; 45 Media L. Rep. 1529; 2017 WL 1244899
PATRICK MALONEY, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated; TIM JUDGE, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. T3MEDIA, INC., DBA Paya.com, a Colorado corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:14-cv-05048-AB-VBK. Andre Birotte, Jr., District Judge, Presiding.
Maloney v. T3Media, Inc., 94 F. Supp. 3d 1128, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42493 (C.D. Cal., 2015)
photograph, likeness, publicity-right, plaintiffs', preempted, rights, subject matter, advertising, preemption, Copyright Act, right of publicity, license, film, misappropriated, exploitation, copyrighted work, federal copyright, merchandise, authorship, artistic, pictures, medium, state law, images, exclusive right, district court, right-of-publicity, distribute, tangible, endorsement
Torts, Invasion of Privacy, Appropriation, Elements, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Strike, Abuse of Discretion, Summary Judgment, Opposing Materials, Motions for Additional Discovery, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Speech, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, Copyright Law, Scope of Copyright Protection, Ownership Rights, Constitutional Copyright Protections, Federal & State Law Interrelationships, Federal Preemption, Subject Matter, Statutory Copyright & Fixation