Music Publishers Lawsuit Against Yahoo, Microsoft, Real Tossed For Failing To Prove They Hold Copyrights
from the oooops dept
Either way, Microsoft, Yahoo and Real were quick to ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed and Eric Goldman sent over the rather short ruling from last month that does, in fact, dismiss the case stating (surprisingly) that the music publishers failed to show they hold the copyrights they were arguing over. That's rather incredible, seeing as the original lawsuit went on for pages and pages, claiming to hold various licensing rights. But the court wasn't buying it:
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss All Causes of Action of Plaintiff MCS Music America, Inc. ("MCS") is granted on the ground Plaintiff MCS has failed to state a legal claim for copyright infringement. To establish a claim of copyright infringement, two elements must be satisfied: (1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) unauthorized copying of the original work. Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Services Co., Inc,. 499 U.S. 340, 111 S.Ct 1282 (1991); Jones v. Blige, 558 F.3d 485 (6th Cir.2009).On top of that, MCS requested the right to amend the lawsuit, and the court shot them down there as well:
MCS has failed to demonstrate ownership of any of the copyrights at issue. Plaintiffs allege MCS is a licensing administrator and an exclusive licensing agent of the copyrights at issue, but do not allege MCS to be an owner of such works. Without demonstrating legal ownership, MCS is not able to plead all of the necessary elements of copyright infringement.
Plaintiffs ask the court to consider the affidavit of Janice Bane with regard to MCS's rights. The court will not consider Ms. Bane's affidavit in deciding this issue. In ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court properly may consider only evidence contained in or asserted in the pleadings. As a general rule, matters outside the pleadings may not be considered in ruling on a motion to dismiss unless the motion is converted to one for summary judgment under Rule 56. Jackson v. City of Columbus, 194 F.3d 737, 745 (6th Cir.1999). Weiner v. Klais & Co., 108 F.3d 86, 88-89 (6th Cir.1997). Furthermore, even if the court were to consider Ms. Bane's affidavit, it does not indicate any ownership on the part of MCS, thus rendering its consideration moot.
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss All Causes of Action of Plaintiff MCS is GRANTED.
Plaintiffs have moved to amend their complaint a second time. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state "... a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). However. Plaintiffs have not demonstrated their amended complaint would show MCS has ownership of any of the copyrights at issue and would therefore be futile. For that reason, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint is DENIED.So much for that, then. Somewhere along the line, it looks like these publishers got some really poor legal advice, as this case didn't last long at all, and to be tossed out so early is pretty bad.