Practice limited to copyright infringement.   Our clients create valuable work.  We protect it.

CONTACT:  info@HARMONseidman.com   |   970.245.9075   | 

Maurice Harmon - Minden V. Pearson Education, INC.

 

In Minden Pictures v. Wiley, textbook publisher and serial copyright infringer, John Wiley & Sons, convinced a lower court in California that a photography agency had no standing to bring claims in behalf of its photographers. In practical terms this would effectively prevent the enforcement of hundreds of copyright violations of because of the expense and time required to file small individual lawsuits. After Harmon Seidman Bruss & Kerr LLC appealed to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, attorney Maurice Harmon successfully argued for reversal and the court reinstated all claims the district judge had thrown out. Harmon convinced the higher court that stock photography agency Minden Pictures had a sufficient interest in the infringement claims to permit it to step into the shoes of individual photographers and bring one case rather than dozens of individual ones around the country. Wiley knew if it could bar Minden Pictures from collectively representing dozens of its photographers with thousands of legitimate copyright infringement claims by using a procedural argument having nothing to do with the merits, most photographers would drop their claims because they could not afford to file individual actions.

 

The Appeals Court refused to allow the lower court order to stand and reasoned:

 

If Minden could not bring an infringement suit on behalf of the photographers for whom it serves as a licensing agent, those photographers would have to bring suit individually, either in individual actions or in a single suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20. Both procedural alternatives have significant disadvantages. In a suit against Wiley brought by an individual photographer, alleging infringement only as to his or her own photographs, the expenses of litigation would very likely dwarf any potential recovery. And in a suit under Rule 20, both the total cost of litigation and the burdens of coordination would be significant, given the complexities of litigating on behalf of thirty-some named plaintiffs. The practical disadvantages of these two alternatives compared with the prospect of licensing agents bringing suit as sole plaintiffs are likely obvious to defendants such as Wiley, and it is not implausible that Minden’s inability to bring an infringement suit would be an incentive to engage in infringing behavior.

 

Attorney Maurice Harmon argued Wiley improperly tried to win on a technicality and escape all responsibility for its infringing conduct because it did not have a meritorious defense to its illegal conduct. During oral arguments before the higher court, Wiley’s attorney was asked whether he publisher had infringed the Minden photographers’ images. He ducked the question. Maurice Harmon, however, was able to answer in rebuttal, advising the panel that Wiley had in fact committed hundreds of copyright infringements and had no legitimate defense for its unlawful actions.

 

After reversal, settlement was reached to the satisfaction of all parties. Read more about Maurice Harmon's case studies.

about maurice harmon

Maurice Harmon - Harmon & Seidman LLC

 

Attorney Maurice Harmon is a Partner of Harmon, Seidman, Bruss & Kerr, LLC . Maurice Harmon specializes in copyright infringement litigation. Maurice Harmon keeps his office in Pennsylvania and is admitted to practice throughout the United States. Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix and Chattanooga are some of the areas Attorney Maurice Harmon has litigated copyright infringement cases before the United States Circuit Courts. Maurice Harmon is a member Attorney of the bar of Colorado as well.

about maurice harmon

Practice limited to copyright infringement.   Our clients create valuable work.  We protect it.

info@HARMONseidman.com   |   970.245.9075   | 

about maurice harmon

Maurice Harmon - Minden V. Pearson Education, INC.

 

In Minden Pictures v. Wiley, textbook publisher and serial copyright infringer, John Wiley & Sons, convinced a lower court in California that a photography agency had no standing to bring claims in behalf of its photographers. In practical terms this would effectively prevent the enforcement of hundreds of copyright violations of because of the expense and time required to file small individual lawsuits. After Harmon Seidman Bruss & Kerr LLC appealed to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, attorney Maurice Harmon successfully argued for reversal and the court reinstated all claims the district judge had thrown out. Harmon convinced the higher court that stock photography agency Minden Pictures had a sufficient interest in the infringement claims to permit it to step into the shoes of individual photographers and bring one case rather than dozens of individual ones around the country. Wiley knew if it could bar Minden Pictures from collectively representing dozens of its photographers with thousands of legitimate copyright infringement claims by using a procedural argument having nothing to do with the merits, most photographers would drop their claims because they could not afford to file individual actions.

 

The Appeals Court refused to allow the lower court order to stand and reasoned:

 

If Minden could not bring an infringement suit on behalf of the photographers for whom it serves as a licensing agent, those photographers would have to bring suit individually, either in individual actions or in a single suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20. Both procedural alternatives have significant disadvantages. In a suit against Wiley brought by an individual photographer, alleging infringement only as to his or her own photographs, the expenses of litigation would very likely dwarf any potential recovery. And in a suit under Rule 20, both the total cost of litigation and the burdens of coordination would be significant, given the complexities of litigating on behalf of thirty-some named plaintiffs. The practical disadvantages of these two alternatives compared with the prospect of licensing agents bringing suit as sole plaintiffs are likely obvious to defendants such as Wiley, and it is not implausible that Minden’s inability to bring an infringement suit would be an incentive to engage in infringing behavior.

 

Attorney Maurice Harmon argued Wiley improperly tried to win on a technicality and escape all responsibility for its infringing conduct because it did not have a meritorious defense to its illegal conduct. During oral arguments before the higher court, Wiley’s attorney was asked whether he publisher had infringed the Minden photographers’ images. He ducked the question. Maurice Harmon, however, was able to answer in rebuttal, advising the panel that Wiley had in fact committed hundreds of copyright infringements and had no legitimate defense for its unlawful actions.

 

After reversal, settlement was reached to the satisfaction of all parties. Read more about Maurice Harmon's case studies.

Practice limited to copyright infringement.

about maurice harmon

Practice limited to copyright infringement.

info@HARMONseidman.com
970.245.9075  |

about maurice harmon

info@HARMONseidman.com
970.245.9075  |