Intellectual Property Roundup

Russia Establishes Specialized Court for Intellectual Property Rights (Intellectual Property Watch)
A specialized court for intellectual property rights has been instituted within the commercial court system of the Russian Federation.  The judiciary is currently being formed and will consist of at least 30 judges.

Google Defeats Publishers Over Web Copyright in German Vote (Bloomberg)
German lawmakers decided in a parliamentary vote that Google and other news aggregators may continue to show short news items on their Internet sites without being required to pay.

France’s Anti-Piracy Watchdog Ponders Evolution, Faces Extinction (ZDNet)
French anti-piracy authority Hadopi recently published a report examining possible models the organization might adopt going forward, and how best to fight the growth of illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material.

As Pirates Run Rampant, TV Studios Dial Up Pursuit (The Wall Street Journal)
Piracy of TV shows and movies is increasing because of improved Web technology, and TV studios like NBCUniversal are ramping up efforts and increasing staff to combat the piracy.

 Newspapers Go All-In for Copyright Fight Against Clipping Service (Ars Technica)
The nation’s largest newspapers, including The New York Times, filed an amicus brief in support of The Associated Press in its copyright battle with online news-clipping service Meltwater Group.  AP sued Meltwater last year, arguing that Meltwater is not a search engine but a competitor engaging in copyright infringement of AP’s content.

For regular IP updates subscribe to SIIA’s weekly Intellectual Property Roundup email newsletter.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA.

SIIA Teams Up with UK Anti-Piracy Organization to Strengthen Global Campaign Against Software Piracy

SIIA today announced that it has forged a new alliance with the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST). The partnership agreement will strengthen anti-piracy operations throughout Europe and the U.S. as SIIA and FAST work together to shut down software pirates and address global intellectual property concerns.

Software piracy is a worldwide epidemic that requires a coordinated and aggressive global solution. SIIA and FAST will work together not only to shut down copyright infringers, but to promote better intellectual property regulation and enforcement.

SIIA conducts the software industry’s most aggressive campaign against software piracy. In the U.S., our work has led to large settlements, convictions and even jail time. With this partnership, SIIA and FAST will gain new resources for fighting software piracy that extends beyond the borders of each group’s home country. Just as software pirates do not operate within traditional geographic borders, neither should the organizations working to put them out of business.

SIIA and FAST have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their partnership. According to the terms of the agreement, the two organizations will:

• Work together to promote better intellectual property regulation, sharing best practices between the two countries to influence government and policy.
• Support more effective enforcement against those that infringe copyright and IP ownership, with FAST assisting SIIA with corporate and Internet anti-piracy matters taking place within the U.K. or Europe, and SIIA assisting FAST with corporate and Internet anti-piracy matters taking place within the United States.
• Work together with government officials and other policymakers on intellectual property policy matters.
• Collaborate on research and studies that will help identify and shut down software piracy operations worldwide.

The SIIA Anti-Piracy Division conducts a comprehensive, industry-wide campaign to fight software and content piracy. The proactive campaign is premised on the notion that one must balance enforcement with education in order to be effective. The SIIA Internet and Auction Litigation Program aims to educate online buyers and sellers regarding the risks and harm of buying and selling illegal software, while the Corporate Anti-Piracy Program investigates and stops software and content piracy occurring within an organization.

During the last four years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the U.S. against illegal online sellers dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region-specific and other illegal software and publications, as well as organizations illegally using software and content. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.

Sources in the U.S. and in Europe can contact SIIA about a company, Web site or online auction seller’s suspicious business practices in three ways:

• E-mail: piracy@siia.net
• Telephone: +1-800-388-7478
• Online: www.siia.net/piracy/report


Ken WaschKen Wasch is President of SIIA.

SIIA Shuts Down Notorious Software Pirate, Gaining Large Financial Sum and Cooperation with Further Investigations

SIIA announced today that it has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against a major California software pirate. SIIA’s efforts have led to the shutdown of the company’s illegal operations, a five-figure settlement amount, and cooperation from the business to pursue those who supplied the illegal software.

On behalf of SIIA member company Adobe Systems, Inc., SIIA investigated, and filed a lawsuit against, Aldo Secaida of Covina, California, for engaging in copyright and trademark infringement by manufacturing, selling and/or distributing unauthorized copies of Adobe software. Secaida sold the pirated software via the website www.brilliantbuys.co.uk. SIIA filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the North District of California.

The settlement not only eliminates a major illegal online software operation, but it also provides us with information to go after others who are ripping off businesses and consumers. This is an important win for companies such as Adobe that employ thousands of people and contribute millions of dollars to our economy. When American software products are illegally copied and sold, consumers are hurt, workers are hurt and our economy is hurt. SIIA runs the software industry’s most comprehensive anti-piracy campaign to obtain justice for our members and to protect consumers and legitimate businesses.

In addition to paying the five-figure settlement amount, Secaida is now cooperating with SIIA to identify the upstream sources of the illegal products he sold. Secaida told SIIA:

“I thought my online scheme of peddling questionable software was a good way to make some easy money, but it has caused me far more harm than good. Most of the software I acquired was illegal to begin with, and reselling it was just as illegal. I completely regret my actions and look forward to helping SIIA shut down my suppliers.”

During the last three years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the U.S. against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region-specific and other illegal software and publications. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.

Sources in the U.S. and in Europe can contact SIIA about a company, Web site or online auction seller’s suspicious business practices in three ways:

• E-mail: piracy@siia.net
• Telephone: +1-800-388-7478
• Online: www.siia.net/piracy/report

For more information about the SIIA Internet Anti-Piracy Division, or to read SIIA’s software buying guides, visit the Software Anti-Piracy page.


Scott BainScott Bain is Chief Litigation Counsel & Director, Internet Anti-piracy at SIIA.

D.C. Court Decision is a Victory for Piracy Whistleblowers and the First Amendment

The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled last week that a person who reported alleged software piracy to SIIA is entitled to remain anonymous, a decision that sets a First Amendment precedent that will protect people who report piracy or other alleged corporate misconduct.

The case centered on the efforts of Solers Inc. to unmask an anonymous informant who had accused it of software piracy and filed a report with SIIA. Solers, a Virginia-based technology company, complained of defamation, and served a subpoena upon SIIA that demanded the identity of the informant.

SIIA contested the subpoena, noting that in the two-decade history of its anti-piracy program, it has never disclosed the identity of any informant that wished to remain anonymous. SIIA asserted that Solers’ allegations did not trump the anonymous speech rights of the informant, and the appellate court agreed, ruling that Solers’ allegations of defamation were insufficient to overcome the First Amendment rights of an individual (“John Doe”) to engage in anonymous criticism.

The appellate decision is an important vindication of the First Amendment speech rights of informants or whistleblowers. SIIA’s sources take risks in reporting software piracy and we take very seriously the significant concerns they may have about their identities being disclosed. As the Solers case demonstrates, SIIA will stop at nothing to protect the identities of those who report software and content piracy to SIIA in confidence.


Laura Greenback is Communications Director at SIIA.

This Week’s Top IP Enforcement Headlines

Amazon Kindle Users Finally Can Check Out (Some) Library E-Books (paidContent)
Amazon’s library lending service for Kindle is now live at more than 11,000 libraries nationwide.

Why Cutting a Deal With Oracle Should Be Google’s Top Android Priority (paidContent)
While settlement discussions have not progressed very far, Oracle has lowered its damages request, and the author argues Google should reach a deal with Oracle since it has more to lose than Oracle at trial.

Amazon Wins ‘One-Click’ Purchasing Patent Appeal (Reuters)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Amazon did not infringe technology patented by Cordance Corp.

$10 Settlement Offers: The Entertainment Industry’s New Copyright Tactic (paidContent)
Content owners are using Digital Rights Corp to monitor file-sharing sites and send $10 settlement offers in a new copyright enforcement tactic based on a massive scale and low dollar amounts.

ICE’s Morton Aims to Pull the Plug on Piracy (The Hill)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton talks about the importance and his focus on fighting intellectual property violations.

NYC Cracking Down on Counterfeit Merchandise to Protect Image, Money (AMNewYork)
New York City officials are taking extraordinary steps to protect the iconic and profitable “NYC” name and other city trademarks, including “NYPD” and “FDNY.”

Apple Gains Ground in China Piracy Battle with New Patents (Mac Daily News)
Apple was granted 40 patents in China, giving it new ammunition to fight the rampant piracy of its products there.

Report incidents of digital piracy to the SIIA here.

This Week’s Top IP Enforcement Headlines

Patent Troll Strikes Bloomberg, NYT and Other News Giants (paidContent)
A shell company with all the markings of a so-called patent troll is suing Bloomberg, the New York Times and four other news giants for infringing a patent related to autocomplete software.

In Orphan Works Squabble, Round One Goes to the Authors Guild (paidContent)
Universities planning to begin digital sharing of orphan works decided to suspend the release of over 100 titles after the Authors Guild tracked down the author of one of the so-called orphan works with a simple Google search.

How Piracy Ruins It For Paid Apps (ZDNet)
App piracy is prevalent in the mobile phone industry and is becoming increasingly burdensome for developers as they have to deal with loss of sales, increased customer complaints and support costs, and damage to their brands.

Nigerian Bookseller Convicted of Piracy (Next)
A bookseller has pleaded guilty to one charge of book piracy after operatives of the Nigerian Copyright Commission raided her bookshop in 2009.

New York City Launches New Anti-Piracy Campaign (The Hollywood Reporter)
In a new anti-piracy campaign, New York City is running a contest for local students to design the next public service announcement to address digital piracy.

Google Won’t Face Some Oracle Copyright Claims, Judge Rules (Bloomberg)
Google won’t have to face part of Oracle’s claim that it infringed copyrights for its Java programming language after U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled some of the material at issue isn’t protected by copyright.

Judge Gives Google More Time to Settle Books Dispute (Chicago Tribune)
Google and the authors and publishers groups have about nine more months to settle their six-year legal dispute over plans to create the world’s largest digital library.

Report incidents of digital piracy to the SIIA here.

The week’s top 8 IP enforcement headlines

Righthaven Terminates Lawyer, Stops Filing New Cases (paidContent)
Following a series of legal setbacks, Righthaven laid off in-house attorney Steven Ganim and says it does not intend to file any new suits in the coming months.

Android Survey Highlights Piracy Problem (Information Week)
A recent survey reports that Android developers do not earn as much as iOS developers, a disparity attributable in part to software piracy.

China Seizes 13 Million Illegal Products in Copyright Crackdown (Washington Post)
China says it seized 13 million illegal video, music, and print products over the past year in a campaign against counterfeits and copyright theft.

FBI Plans to Share Copyright Warning Seal (Courthouse News Service)
The FBI will provide a general authorization allowing all copyright holders to use an FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal, which had been available by request only to members of five entertainment and software industry associations.

Righthaven Says it Might Have to File for Bankruptcy (Vegas Inc)
Righthaven warned it may have to file for bankruptcy because of a series of setbacks in its litigation campaign.

How Porno Piracy Cases are Breaking Copyright Ground (Thomson Reuters)
Porn movie producers are filing complaints against anonymous defendants and in some cases, reaching settlements with these John Does. The EFF is now getting involved over concerns of due process.

Lawsuit Seeks Removal of a Digital Book Collection (New York Times)
Three major author’s groups and eight individual authors filed suit against a group of research libraries and universities, arguing their initiative to digitize millions of books constituted copyright infringement.

Circuit Shaves $20 Million Off Louis Vuitton Award (Courthouse News Service)
The 9th Circuit Court upheld Louis Vuitton’s victory over a web-hosting firm that provided support to Chinese copyright and trademark pirates, but reduced the jury’s $32.7 million award by about 60 percent.

Report piracy confidentially to SIIA and you could be eligible for a reward of $10,000 or more.