Perfect 10, Inc. v. Yandex N.V.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, DCMA
  • Date Filed: 05-07-2013
  • Case #: C 12-01521 WHA
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court, N.D. California
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65802
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 1899851
  • Full Text Opinion

An agent must be registered with the US Copyright Office in order to comply with Section 512(c).

Opinion (Alsup): Perfect 10, Inc. (“Perfect 10”) held copyrights to adult entertainment products, including images. Yandex N.V is a Dutch holding company that offered a range of search functions over the internet. Yandex Inc., a subsidiary located in Palo Alto, California, hosted (collectively “Yandex”) Perfect 10 alleged that Yandex’s websites violated its copyright by copying its images and displaying them to Internet users, and by linking to, storing, and placing ads around such images without permission. Prior to suit, Perfect 10 sent hundreds of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DCMA”) takedown notices, requesting Yandex remove the links to the images. Perfect 10 moved for partial summary judgment, alleging that Yandex was ineligible for DMCA safe harbor under Section 512(c) during the period when they had no registered DMCA agent. The Court noted that Yandex’s reading of the statute was incorrect: Yandex argued that the Congressional intention in enacting the statute was to “enforce substantial compliance” with the safe harbor requirements, and thus treated the agent requirement as a nullity. Despite receiving and processing the notices, Yandex was ineligible for safe harbor because it did not have a DCMA agent. The Court determined that Yandex’s reading of the statute was incorrect because it disregarded the plain meaning of the statute. Thus, Perfect 10’s motion for summary judgment was GRANTED in relevant part.

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