Case filings: Copyright on sex in Second Life?


Copyright on Sex in Second Life?
An Internet business that devised code to allow Second Life users to have sex filed a copyright infringement lawsuit July 3 in federal court in Tampa against an anonymous user who allegedly is copying and selling the code.
Florida-based Eros claims the user, identified as ³Volkov Catteneo² and ³Aaron Long,² has copied several ³adult-themed virtual objects² owned and sold by Eros under the SexGen name and sold them to members of the virtual world in several locations, including Georgia, West Virginia and the U.K.
The defendant allegedly also misrepresented the product as an authorized and legitimate copy of the programs. Eros claims the defendant  has refused to stop selling the code. The complaint also alleges violations of the Lanham Act¹s rules governing unfair competition and false description of origin.
The company seeks unspecified damages and to permanently enjoin the user from continuing to infringe on Eros¹ copyrights.
Representing Eros is Alfred Villoch of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Tampa and Philadelphia attorney Francis Taney.
Eros Llc. v. Doe, 07cv01158.

e Marvel Targets Accessories
Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Marvel Characters Inc. filed suit Aug. 6 against a video game accessory manufacturer for allegedly breaching a settlement agreement over unpaid royalties generated from the sale of accessories featuring characters including Spider-Man and Wolverine. The complaint, filed in New York federal court in Manhattan, alleges copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unpaid royalties against Naki International and Naki World Inc. and seeks at least $450,659 in damages.
Under a March 2006 settlement agreement, Naki World allegedly agreed to pay $150,000 to Marvel for unpaid royalties, but the company has paid only $100,000 of that amount, Marvel claims. Marvel also alleges Naki continues to sell Spider-Man wireless video game controllers without permission. Naki has breached its settlement agreement and owes the full amount of unpaid royalties, $550,000, less the $100,000 it has already paid, according to the suit. Marvel also seeks statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement.
Representing Marvel are Kyle Bisceglie and Howard Smith III of Barton Barton & Plotkin in New York.
Marvel Enterprises Inc. v. Naki International, 07cv7029.

Viacom Accused of Lift-ing Songs
Music publisher and licenser Samuel Adams and his Global Graffiti Music have filed a copyright infringement and unfair competition lawsuit against Viacom, MTV Networks and Pump Audio over the use of two songs recorded by the music group Lift. Adams claims in the lawsuit filed July 24 in U.S.
District Court in Los Angeles that Pump Audio has unlawfully licensed two songs, ³Even If (It Is Love)² and ³Turn Away² for several MTV programs including ³Total Request Live,² ³Made² and ³Driven.² Adams claims that Pump Audio¹s right to sublicense the songs ended in July 2005, but it discovered the songs were used by Viacom and MTV in January. According to the complaint, Pump Audio continues to license the songs without permission.
The complaint seeks to enjoin the defendants from using the music without permission and for an accounting.  Representing Adams is Gaurav Kalra of Veda Counsel in Sacramento.
Adams v. Viacom International, 07cv04774.

Kool DVD Prompts Claim
Liberation Entertainment and Nutech Digital were sued Aug. 3 in New Jersey federal court in Newark over the alleged unauthorized sales of a DVD celebrating the 40th anniversary of R&B group Kool and the Gang. The lawsuit, filed by the Name Vault, which holds the trademark for the group, and KTFA Entertainment, the band¹s label, claims Liberation Entertainment contracted to promote, sell and distribute the DVD but that it failed to pay royalties received to KTFA as agreed.The plaintiffs claim they recently became aware that Los Angeles-based Liberation was using the copyrighted DVD for unauthorized broadcasts on HDNet.
Nutech, based in Cranford, N.J., allegedly was selling the DVD without permission to the public.
The claims include copyright infringement, trademark infringement, dilution of trademark, unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective economic benefit, unjust enrichment and civil conspiracy. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages and ask for an accounting.
Representing the Name Vault and KTFA is Millburn, N.J., sole practitioner Mark Ingber. 
The Name Vault v. Liberation Entertainment Inc., 07cv03639.

Woman Blue Over CNN Crash Video
A South Carolina woman who claims she owns the copyright to footage of a deadly Blue Angels plane crash has sued CNN in Charleston federal court.
In the infringement lawsuit filed Aug. 6, Susan Wester claims CNN agreed to pay her $600 for the right to use the footage in broadcasts and that the network also promised to give her a tour of the news headquarters in Atlanta, provide her with dinner for two at a restaurant of her choice and credit her with a byline when the footage was shown.
But CNN, Wester claims, has never paid her or lived up to any other part of their oral agreement and has charged the public to view the video on its Web site.
Wester claims her agreement with the network was not exclusive despite the network¹s tag on the footage as a ³CNN Exclusive.² Wester claims CNN has destroyed the market for her intellectual property.
She alleges copyright infringement, contributory infringement, vicarious liability, breach of contract, fraud, breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act and intentional interference with prospective contractual relations.
She seeks to enjoin CNN from further using her footage and for a royalty payment of $600 for each time the network¹s copy has been used.
Representing Wester are Douglas Kim and Hunter Freeman of McNair Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina.
Wester v. Cable News Network, 07cv2726.