INDIANAPOLIS - Although noting that entry of a default judgment in response to discovery abuses is an "extreme" and "draconian" measure, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on May 18 nonetheless found that conduct by two copyright infringement defendants "warrants the harshest of sanctions" (Malibu Media LLC v. Kelley Tashiro and N. Charles Tashiro, No. 13-205, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64281).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Several affirmative defenses raised in response to allegations of copyright infringement were stricken May 12 by an Ohio federal judge (Malibu Media LLC v. Niraj Patel, No. 14-559, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62139).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on March 26 granted a motion by an online file-sharing defendant and his parents for a protective order against "a broadly worded subpoena duces tecum" served on them by a copyright infringement plaintiff, stating that 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case law and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 do not permit the unrestricted computer hard drive access sought in the subpoena (Malibu Media LLC v. Roberto Roldan, No. 8:13-cv-03007, M.D. Fla.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiff has properly pleaded each of all elements of his federal securities law claims against an online social media game developer and certain of its officers and directors, a federal judge in California ruled March 25 (In re Zynga Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-4007, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge properly adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that a copyright infringement defendant be denied prevailing-party attorney fees under the Copyright Act, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed March 26 (Malibu Media LLC v. Leo Pelizzo, No. 14-11795, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4898).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by a Delaware federal judge that various claims of four patents are valid and infringed by Apple Inc. were only partly correct, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 17 (MobileMedia Ideas LLC v. Apple Inc., Nos. 14-1060, -1091, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of the recent revelation that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton used her personal email account to conduct official government business, Gawker Media LLC on March 13 sued the U.S. Department of State under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking an order compelling disclosure of requested communications between a Clinton staffer and certain media outlets (Gawker Media LLC, et al. v. Department of State, No. 1:15-cv-00363, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Noting a lack of Michigan case law defining key terms in the state's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 24 certified a question to the Michigan Supreme Court, seeking the terms' definitions prior to deciding whether music-streaming service provider Pandora Media Inc. can be classified a lender of sound recordings in a privacy lawsuit against it (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc., No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 10 declined to rule on a summary judgment motion in a copyright infringement file-sharing case, finding that the plaintiff had not had adequate time to conduct relevant discovery prior to the motion's filing (Malibu Media LLC v. Roberto Roldan, No. 8:13-cv-03007, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15944).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Computer manufacturer Acer America Corp. and a media buying firm mostly saw their motions to exclude expert testimony denied on Jan. 22, with a California federal judge finding their respective damages and advertising experts qualified and their testimony relevant to the contractual claims at issue in the lawsuit (Prime Media Group LLC v. Acer America Corp., No. 5:12-cv-05020, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7515).
SEATTLE - Allegations of copyright infringement by BWP Media USA Inc., doing business as Pacific Coast News, were rejected by a Washington federal magistrate judge on Jan. 23 (BWP Media USA Inc., d/b/a Pacific Coast News v. Rich Kids Clothing Company, No. 13-1975, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8034).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 ruled that a former federal air marshal's disclosure of information about canceled missions to the media was not "prohibited by law" (Department of Homeland Security v. Robert J. MacLean, No. 13-894, U.S. Sup.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a case that it said "stands at the intersection of a litigant's privacy interests in social media postings and the broad discovery allowed in . . . a civil case," a Florida appeals panel on Jan. 7 found no expectation of privacy in a woman's Facebook account, declining to overturn a trial court's granting of a motion to compel by Target Corp. in a personal injury lawsuit (Maria F. Leon Nucci, et al. v. Target Corp., et al., No. 4D14-138, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 153).
NORFOLK, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Dec. 31 partially granted a motion filed by a group of military housing defendants in relation to claims that mold at rental military housing caused residents to suffer illness, ordering that the residents are required to produce various social media posts and to pay all of the costs of expert production of the material (Shelley Federico, et al. v. Lincoln Military Housing, et al., No. 2:12cv80, E.D. Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178943).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Although an Illinois federal judge found certain behavior by the plaintiff's attorneys in a now-dismissed copyright infringement lawsuit to be questionable and suspicious, he held Nov. 18 that there was not sufficient evidence to definitively establish sanctionable behavior, denying a defendant's motion for contempt and additional sanctions against the attorneys (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161566).
NEW YORK - A defendant on Nov. 14 won dismissal of allegations that it infringed upon copyrighted celebrity photographs, when a New York federal judge agreed that personal jurisdiction there is lacking (BWP Media USA Inc., et al. v. Hollywood.com Holdings LLC, et al., No. 14-121, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160642).
SAN FRANCISCO - Social media firm Twitter Inc. filed suit in California federal court Oct. 7, seeking a declaration that its First Amendment rights have been violated by the federal government's forbidding Twitter from revealing the extent or type of national security requests it has received as part of the government's surveillance program (Twitter Inc. v. Eric Holder, et al., No. 3:14-cv-04480, N.D. Calif.).