Press Release

Wiley Rein Files Amicus Brief for Association of American Publishers in Important Copyright Case

March 22, 2019

Washington, DC — Wiley Rein filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in an important case concerning the ability of U.S. intellectual property rights holders to seek recourse in federal courts against foreign-based actors who infringe U.S. IP rights through the Internet.

The AAP brief, authored by Wiley Rein partners David E. Weslow, Megan L. Brown, and Ari Meltzer, was filed March 19 in support of the petitioners in UMG et al. v. Kurbanov.

The brief urges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reverse a federal district court’s dismissal of a copyright suit that several major U.S. record companies filed against an infringing website operator based in Russia. The defendant operates two Russian “stream-ripping” websites that enable users worldwide to download infringing audio files that have been “ripped” from a video streaming service without permission from the copyright holders.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled on January 22 that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, even though the infringing websites attracted more than 500,000 users from Virginia in a one-year period.

Wiley Rein argued in the AAP amicus brief that the District Court applied an “overly narrow interpretation of personal jurisdiction” in its ruling. “The District Court’s overly formulaic analysis provides a roadmap for foreign infringers to evade the reach of U.S. courts,” according to the brief.

The District Court’s decision also “threatens to deal a major blow to the ability of members of the book and publishing industry to enforce intellectual property rights against some of the most brazen and prolific infringers of content created and distributed in the United States,” Wiley Rein said on behalf of AAP.

To read the amicus brief, click here. To read AAP’s news release on the brief, click here.

Read Time: 2 min


Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

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