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Mavrix v BuzzFeed

Mavrix v BuzzFeed

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Published by jeff_roberts881

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Published by: jeff_roberts881 on Oct 17, 2012
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07/10/2013

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Case 2:12-cv-08715-CAS-RZ Document 1 Filed 10/11/12 Page 1 of 24 Page ID #:4
 
 
2
COMPLAINT
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728U.S.C. § 1400(a) in that the claim arises in this Judicial District, the Defendants may befound and transact business in this Judicial District, and the injury suffered by Plaintiff took place in this Judicial District. Defendants are subject to the general and specific personal jurisdiction of this Court because of their contacts with the State of California.
PARTIES
 3.
 
Plaintiff Mavrix is a corporation incorporated and existing under the laws of Florida, with offices located in Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California.4.
 
Mavrix is informed and believes that BuzzFeed is a Delaware corporation,with its principal place of business at 54 West 21
st
Street, 11
th
Floor, New York, NY10010.5.
 
Mavrix is informed and believes that BuzzFeed has not registered and has notdesignated an agent with the Copyright Office under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(“DMCA”), nor is its business model one that is entitled to any limitations on liabilityunder the DMCA.6.
 
DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, are unknown to Plaintiff, who therefore suessaid Defendants by such fictitious names. Plaintiff will seek leave of Court to amend thisComplaint and insert the true names and capacities of said Defendants when the same havebeen ascertained. Plaintiff is informed and believes and, upon such, alleges that each of theDefendants designated herein as a “DOE” is legally responsible in some manner for theevents and happenings herein alleged, and that Plaintiff’s damages as alleged herein wereproximately caused by such Defendants.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The Defendants and the Marketplace
7.
 
On information and belief, BuzzFeed owns and operates a website,BuzzFeed.com that purports to be a leading social news organization.8.
 
BuzzFeed boasts of BuzzFeed.com’s widespread popularity, claiming to reachmore than 25 million monthly unique visitors.9.
 
Despite its economic resources and apparent sophistication on intellectual
Case 2:12-cv-08715-CAS-RZ Document 1 Filed 10/11/12 Page 2 of 24 Page ID #:5
 
 
3
COMPLAINT
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728property matters, BuzzFeed has, on information and belief, violated federal law by willfullyinfringing Mavrix copyrights to at least 9 different photographs on BuzzFeed.com.10.
 
In the marketplace, celebrity photos such as those at issue in this case carrytremendous monetary value. Mavrix procures images of celebrities at a significant cost andlicenses these images to various third parties to create highly sought after feature spreads,among other things, on television, print, and online.11.
 
Defendants herein have driven massive traffic to BuzzFeed.com—includingmillions of visitors monthly across the United States and California—in part due to thepresence of the sought after and searched-for celebrity images that frame this dispute. Allof this traffic translates into significant ill-gotten commercial advantage and revenuegeneration for Defendants as a direct consequence of their infringing actions.
The Photos Forming the Subject Matter of This Dispute
 12.
 
Mavrix is a prominent celebrity photography agency that licenses itsphotographs on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis to a multitude of top-tier mediaoutlets, including the world’s leading newspapers, television programs, and magazines,such as,
e.g.
, People and US Weekly.13.
 
BuzzFeed has reproduced, publicly distributed, and publicly displayedcopyright-protected photographs belonging to Mavrix on numerous occasions via itswebsite without Mavrix’s permission, consent, or license.14.
 
Despite having no permission, consent, or license to do so, on or around June6, 2011, and other subsequent dates including but not limited to September 28, 2012,BuzzFeed reproduced, publicly distributed, and publicly displayed certain images of superstar singer Katy Perry on a rooftop in Miami belonging to Mavrix (the “Perry RooftopPhotos”). True and correct copies of BuzzFeed’s website demonstrating its unauthorizeduse of these photos is attached hereto as Exhibit 1. Mavrix sought a copyright registrationfor these photos within 90 days of their first publication, and the copyright registration forthese photos is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.15.
 
Despite having no permission, consent, or license to do so, on or around June
Case 2:12-cv-08715-CAS-RZ Document 1 Filed 10/11/12 Page 3 of 24 Page ID #:6

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