For the reasons stated below, the defendant’s cross-appeal is DISMISSED, and the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
This case concerns the scope of copyright protection afforded to a sound recording of a conference call convened by The Swatch Group Ltd. (“Swatch Group”), a foreign public company, to discuss the company’s recently released earnings report with invited investment analysts. In particular, we must determine whether Defendant-Appellee Bloomberg L.P. (“Bloomberg”), a financial news and data reporting service that obtained a copy of that sound recording without authorization and disseminated it to paying subscribers, may avoid liability for copyright infringement based on the affirmative defense of “fair use.” 17 U.S.C. § 107. We also must determine whether we have jurisdiction to hear Bloomberg’s cross-appeal on the issue of whether the sound recording of the conference call is copyrightable in the first instance.
Plaintiff-Appellant The Swatch Group Management Services Ltd. (“Swatch”), a subsidiary of Swatch Group, appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Hellerstein, J.), which sua sponte granted summary judgment to Bloomberg on Swatch’s claim of copyright infringement on the ground of fair use. On appeal, Swatch argues that the district court’s ruling was premature because Swatch had not yet had the opportunity to take discovery on three issues: (1) whether Bloomberg obtained and disseminated the sound recording for the purpose of “news reporting” or for some other business purpose; (2) Bloomberg’s state of mind when it obtained and disseminated the recording; and (3) whether Bloomberg subscribers actually listen to sound recordings of earnings calls, or instead glean information about such calls by reading written transcripts or articles. Swatch also contends that the district court erroneously concluded that Swatch had published the sound recording before Bloomberg disseminated it. More broadly, Swatch argues that the district court erred in how it evaluated and balanced the various considerations relevant to fair use. For the reasons set forth below, we agree with the district court and hold that, upon consideration of the relevant factors and resolving all factual disputes in favor of Swatch, Bloomberg has engaged in fair use.
Judge(s): Robert Katzmann
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Communications
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Jess Collen||Collen IP|
|Kristen Mogavero||Collen IP|
|Joshua Paul||Collen IP|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|John DiMatteo||Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP|
|Thomas Golden||Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP|
|Amina Jafri||Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP|