Leveyfilm, Inc. v. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 07-08-2014
  • Case #: 13-C-4664
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92809
  • Westlaw Citation: 2014 WL 3368893
  • Full Text Opinion

Copyright: An affiliate of a third party website is not liable for copyright infringement when it neither copied the image, stored the image, had general or specific knowledge of the infringement, nor exerted control over the infringing party.

Opinion (Durkin): Fox had an affiliate and advertising agreement with a third party website. The affiliate website admitted it had copied a photo with copyright protection. Levyfilm sued and Fox moved for summary judgment. The Court held that the Levyfilm did not present competent evidence in the record to allow a reasonable juror to conclude that the photo was ever contained on Fox’s servers or that Fox copied the photo; therefore, Fox could not be liable for direct infringement under the Copyright Act. The Court also held Fox was not liable for indirect infringement because the plaintiff failed to present evidence that Fox knew that the affiliate would infringe or had infringed a copyright. The Court also held Fox was not liable for vicarious infringement because the only “control” Fox had over the affiliate was the unilateral ability to cancel the agreement. Finally, the affiliate used the photo to report news and was therefore protected by the fair use defense. Fox's motion for summary judgment was GRANTED and all counts as they pertained to Fox were DISMISSED.

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