Wednesday, May 27

Court dismisses copyright lawsuit against UCLA a second time

A federal court in California dismissed a lawsuit last week for the second time that accused UCLA of violating copyright laws by streaming videos online for faculty and students.

Ambrose Video Publishing, Inc., an educational video producer, and Association for Information Media and Equipment, a trade association, filed the suit last year alleging that UCLA violated copyright laws by streaming reformatted DVD content and an Ambrose Video Publishing program on the Internet for students and faculty.

United States District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall originally dismissed the case in October 2011, but allowed the company and trade organization the option of filing an amended complaint, which was filed months later.

Judge Marshall dismissed the case for a second time last week, but this time the decision does not allow the case to be refiled in the trial court, said Jamie Slaughter, an attorney who defended UCLA in the case. The companies, however, do have the option to appeal, he added.

“We’re pleased that (the judge) agreed with us and agreed with UCLA that there was no copyright infringement or breach of a contract with respect to the facts in this case,” Slaughter said.

Judge Marshall dismissed the case, citing that Ambrose Video Publishing lacked standing to bring the case, and UCLA had immunity, according to the judge’s ruling.

Arnold Lutzker, the attorney for Ambrose Video Publishing and Association for Information Media and Equipment, declined to comment on the case.

“What we were hoping for was some decision related to whether or not our digitizing of the media is fair use,” said Roger Brown, manager of instructional media collection and services for UCLA. “Instead it got thrown out on technicalities.”

Brown expressed some disappointment with the ruling.

“We’ve maintained, if you’ve looked at the original response to their suit, that the fact that we’re digitizing this media is fair use because we have a classroom exemption,” Brown said.

“We were hoping that the judgment would address that specifically so that we would feel more comfortable doing what we are doing.”

Slaughter said he does not expect the companies to appeal the ruling.

Compiled by Mathew Foresta, Bruin contributor.

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