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Penguin Group V. American Buddha Shows the Need for Copyright Lawyers

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that New York City publisher Penguin Group can sue Oregon-based non-profit group American Buddha in New York for copyright infringement, according to a recent ruling in the case.

Copyright infringement and other intellectual property matters in New York must be handled aggressively and quickly because they can be crucial to the survival of any company. Hiring competent counsel to intervene and put an end to such illegal activity is critical.
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According to the recent court ruling, Penguin sued the non-profit group, which has an online library of classical literature and other works, including four published in print by Penguin. The publishing company alleged that by American Buddha posting four books on the Internet, it violated copyrights in works that it had published.

The reason for the appeals are based on the legal question of where the damage to Penguin occurred. According to the New York district court where the case was filed, Penguin didn’t suffer any damage in New York, but presumably did in Oregon or Arizona, where the online site’s servers are located. According to the New York Code’s long-arm statute, a court can have jurisdiction over a non-domiciliary who commits a tortious act that could have consequences in New York.

According to the court ruling, Penguin had to show it suffered injury “within the state,” which the lower court ruled it did not. The lower court decided it suffered injury in Oregon and Arizona, where the non-profits servers are located, not where the books were downloaded and used, which could have been anywhere in the world, including New York.

But the appellate court decided that it must interpret what the New York Legislature intended in attempting to protect New Yorkers from copyright infringement by non-New Yorkers. The panel identified the “right of a copyright holder to exclude others from using his property as a critical factor that tips the balance in favor of identifying New York as the situs of injury.”

The court of appeals vacated the judgment dismissing Penguin’s complaint and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

In this case, Penguin, a worldwide company that publishes millions of books for children and adults, was taking a step to try to protect their product from a group that the court ruled has damaged them by offering its products for free online. The Internet has made copyright infringement and intellectual property rights law much more important to enforce because once an idea or product is stolen and published online, it often can’t be brought back.

That’s why trusting in an experienced team of business law attorneys in Great Neck is critical in protecting your product and company from outsiders who threaten your survival. Use the laws of New York to your advantage and to protect you from this harm and consult today with a law firm that has used this type of law for decades to save companies who have been unlawfully attacked.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman handles copyright and intellectual property law in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

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