Brickey v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 07-18-2014
  • Case #: SA-13-CA-961-XR
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97479
  • Westlaw Citation: 2014 WL 297979
  • Full Text Opinion

When the defendant is the rightfully owner of media which is the basis for a copyright infringement claim, not infringement can occur.

Opinion (Rodriguez): Mr. Herman Brickey ("Brickey") produced a music album in June of 2009. The album, in CD format, continued to be listed as a product for sale in spite of Brickey's request that the CD sales be discontinued.

On October 23, 2013 Bricker filed a Complaint alleging a violation of the Copyright Act. Brickey, a pro se Plaintiff filed for summary judgment on February 21, 2014.

According to Fed. R Civ. P. 56(a), Summary judgment is requires that there be "no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Brickey failed to submit much evidence to the Court for the Court to review.
In order to establish a prima facie case, the Court outlined the elements that must be met in a copyright infringement case. A plaintiff must show "(1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) copying [by the defendant] of constituent elements of the work that are original."

Ownership of a copyright, in this case, is not in dispute. Brickey provided the Court with certificate of registration and Amazon ("Defendant") does not dispute Brickey's valid ownership of the copyright.
The Court then analyzed the second element of a prima facie case, the copying of the constituent elements. No copying occurred, the CD was listed as a product for sale. The Court determined that Amazon had purchased the CD copies it listed for sale on its website and therefore was the rightful owner of the copies sold.

According to 17 U.S.C. § 109(a) and the "first sale" doctrine, copyright infringement cannot occur in this case because the Defendant was the rightful owner of the CD.

As such, the case was DISMISSED.

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