Feb 16, 2018

Court dismisses Playboy's copyright claim

Playboy, the well-known men's magazine, have had their copyright infringement claim against Boing Boing dismissed by Judge Fernado Olguin in a California District Court. Boing Boing is an online blog and subsidiary of Happy Mutants LLC, they post about various subjects but most relate to the technology industry.

The magazine publisher alleged Boing Boing of copyright infringement through an article they published in early 2016. The article related to the changing face of beauty and glamour photography throughout the years. In the article, Boing Boing shared a link which took the reader through an archive of past Playboy centerfold images. Playboy alleged the article infringed their copyright and exploited their images. Boing Boing argued, enlisting the help of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), that hyperlinking is not copyright infringement. They said that millions of internet users could potentially be taken to Court for copyright infringement if that was the case.

Judge Olguin listened to both arguments but ultimately sided with Boing Boing and dismissed Playboy's case. He did, however, allow Playboy leave to submit a new complaint with better infringement allegations.

It is surprising that Playboy have failed to prove their allegations given that they were successful in a similar case which took place last year in the European Court of Justice. The recent decision in the US District Court leaves open whether Playboy will bring a new amended case or if they will drop the complaint altogether.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Copyright, News

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