A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Dismisses Plaintiffs’ Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Copyright Infringement Claims

In a May 5, 2014 ruling, Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against a “John Doe” defendant over derogatory blog postings. The plaintiffs asserted claims, among others, for copyright infringement and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Judge Carter disposed of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim based on the defendant’s unauthorized copying of the plaintiffs’ wedding photo from their Facebook page by noting that the complaint inadequately alleged that the defendant had accessed a “protected computer” as the term is defined under the Act, and that the plaintiffs’ allegations of harm to reputation and lost potential business did not claim the sort of damages recoverable under the Act. The Court dismissed the copyright claim because the plaintiffs did not allege that the copied work was registered, which is a precondition to suit.
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