Wolk v. Kodak Imaging Network, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright
  • Date Filed: 01-03-2012
  • Case #: 10 Civ. 4135
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sweet
  • Full Text Opinion

Defendant largely acted in accordance with DMCA when it provided plaintiff with a means to contact concerning removal of infringing images.

Shelia Wolk (“Wolk”), artist and owner of copyrighted depictions of fantasy settings and animals, filed a pro se copyright infringement suit against Photobucket, a free image-file sharing service, and Kodak Imagining Network, Inc. (“Kodak”), whom partnered with Photobucket to provide printing services for Photobucket users. Photobucket, in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) “safe harbor” definition, provided copyright owners a means to contact Photobucket for removal of infringing images, so long as the copyright owner gave the URL and copyright information for the image. Wolk sought to have Photobucket remove up to 3,000 images. Although Photobucket managed to remove many of the images, Wolk, being a self-described computer novice, could not provide all of the requisite URLs, and filed suit before Photobucket could complete the removal process, seeking an injunction and damages up to $6,000,000. Both Wolk, and the co-defendants, Photobucket and Kodak, filed motions for summary judgment. The District Court found that Photobucket had largely acted in accordance with the DMCA, and that Wolk had not demonstrated that Photobucket had contributorily infringed her copyrights by acting with the knowledge that it was passing along infringing images to Kodak. The District Court GRANTED Photobucket and Kodak’s summary judgment motion.

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