September 2023

28 Sep 23

Genius crowdsources song lyrics by soliciting individual contributors to post their interpretations of the words they hear in songs. Google rather blatantly copied Genius’ crowdsourced lyrics for display at the top of Google search results, as proven by Google’s replication of Genius-coded digital watermarks. Genius alleges violation of the Genius Terms of Service which plainly forbid that which Google did. Genuis claims a massive drop in ad revenue caused by a plummeting of the numbers of users visiting the Genius sites as a result of Google’s actions.

Genius brought breach of contract and unfair competition claims against Google in New York state court. Google sought removal to federal court, claiming that Genius’ claims are redressable only via copyright, and only US district courts have jurisdiction for copyright claims. The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted the motion to remove the case from state court, refused remand, and promptly dismissed the claims with prejudice, on grounds of copyright preemption.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion (ML Genius Holdings LLC v Google LLC, 2022), affirmed the ruling, and in the process called into question the enforceability of any contract governing the supply or exchange of data or information.

14 Sep 23

Infuriating excerpt from What it Takes to Be a Trial Lawyer if You are not a Man by Lara Bazelon, The Atlantic, September 2018:

Last year, Elizabeth Faiella took a case representing a man who alleged that a doctor had perforated his esophagus during a routine medical procedure. Before the trial began, she and the defense attorney, David O. Doyle Jr., were summoned to a courtroom in Brevard County, Florida, for a hearing. Doyle had filed a motion seeking to “preclude emotional displays” during the trial—not by the patient, but by Faiella.

“Counsel for the Plaintiff, Elizabeth Faiella, has a proclivity for displays of anguish in the presence of the jury, including crying,” Doyle wrote in his motion. Faiella’s predicted flood of tears, he continued, could be nothing more than “a shrewdly calculated attempt to elicit a sympathetic response.”