By , September 17, 2021.

Fifth Circuit Delivers Maddening Opinions in Bynum Copyright Suit — “Bynum, who has been a sports historian for 44 years, formed a collaborative relationship with the Texas A&M Athletic Department while working on the story, which he described in an email to me as ‘the first and only serious effort to tell the full story of E. King Gill.’ In 2010, while seeking photographs for the project, Bynum sent a PDF ‘draft in progress’ of his manuscript to TAMU’s Associate Director of Media Relations, Brad Marquardt. The PDF included a notice of copyright and a first chapter, created as a work made for hire (WMFH) by a writer named Whit Canning, whom Bynum had paid to write a short bio about Gill. Then in 2014, in connection with a fundraising campaign, Marquardt not only directed his secretary to retype the Gill Biography and omit the copyright information, but also to edit the byline in order to make it appear as though TAMU, rather than Bynum, had contracted Canning to write that material.”

Locast’s free TV service ordered to shut down permanently after copyright loss — “Locast was ordered to shut down its online TV service forever in a permanent injunction issued yesterday by a federal judge. The order came two weeks after the judge gave major broadcast networks a big victory in their copyright case against Locast, a nonprofit organization that provided online access to broadcast TV stations. Locast will have to win on appeal in order to stream broadcast channels again. Locast already suspended operations after the September 1 ruling that said it does not qualify for a copyright-law exemption available to nonprofits, so the permanent injunction doesn’t change the status quo.”

Pearson sues edtech rival Chegg for copyright infringement — “In a lawsuit filed in a New Jersey court, Pearson accused Chegg of ‘systematically’ continuing to publish answer sets from thousands of textbooks, replicating copyrighted material so students could ‘easily search for and find answers to the textbook questions they have been assigned’.  It alleged this violated Pearson’s exclusive copyright, undermined educational progression and could encourage university lecturers to reconsider using textbooks for their courses.”

SKorea to fine Google $177M for forcing software on devices — “Joh pointed out that Samsung, the maker of the globally popular Galaxy Android phones, suffered a huge setback in 2013 when Google forced it to abort its plans to use a customized version of Google software on its Galaxy Gear smartwatches. Samsung switched to a little-known operating system called Tizen but gave up on the software after struggling with a lack of applications. The company’s new smartwatches are now powered by Google’s Wear OS. LG was also thwarted from releasing smart speakers based on customized Google software.”

Cf. Google LLC v. Oracle Am., 141 S. Ct. 1183, 1218 (2021) (J. Thomas dissent). “Google controls the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. And if companies may now freely copy libraries of declaring code whenever it is more convenient than writing their own, others will likely hesitate to spend the resources Oracle did to create intuitive, well-organized libraries that attract programmers and could compete with Android. If the majority is worried about monopolization, it ought to consider whether Google is the greater threat.”