Friday, October 29, 2010

Northern California Judges Rule in Technology Cases

The Copyright Blob returns.
Image Courtesy of Univ. of New South Wales
Northern California Judges have recently ruled in a few technology cases.

J&J Sports Productions v. Guzman involves a familiar plaintiff and cause of action. This blog had previously covered J&J's effort to obtain a default judgment after accusing Kim Thuy Ho and his Thoa Cafe of intercepting a boxing match.  A quick look at the court docket shows that J&J has filed hundreds of these lawsuits.  In its most recent endeavor, Sergio Santana Guzman does business as Tacos Santana.  According to the complaint, Gary Gravelyn saw the Julio Ceasar Chavez v. Matt Vandana on November 1, 2008 at Tacos Santana and the restaurant did not have a site license, so J&J sued under 47 U.S.C. Sections 553(c) (stealing cable) and 605(e) (stealing satellite or radio transmission) from the facts it does not appear which occured, but since Mr. Gravelyn did not see a satellite dish or cable box and it had to be one or the other Judge Jeremy Fogel inferred it was cable.  Apparently this is not the first time Mr. Guzman intercepted a cable program, J&J cited previous default judgments to show that the defendants engaged in a pattern of unlawful activity.  Judge Fogel agreed and awarded a $40,600 judgment against Mr. Guzman.

Sony Computer Entertainment America v. Zoomba LLC is an action to enjoin the a group of defendants from selling hardware and software used to circumvent the security features in the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3).  Sony alleges these devices allow end users to copy games in violation of the Copyright Act and circumvent coding of copyrighted material in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA).  On October 5, 2010 Judge William H. Alsup entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring the defendants to show cause why they should not be enjoined from manufacturing these devices.  On October 19, 2010, Judge  Vaughn Walker entered a stipulated preliminary injunction where Tom Nooker agreed to a preliminary injunction which prevented him from selling the security circumvention material and linking to other websites which did the same thing.

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