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Faulkner Press v Class Notes

Faulkner Press v Class Notes

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Published by Eric Goldman

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Dec 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/19/2012

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDAGAINESVILLE DIVISIONFAULKNER PRESS, L.L.C.,a Florida limited liability company,Plaintiff,v. CASE NO.: 1:08cv49-SPM/GRJCLASS NOTES, L.L.C.,a Florida limited liability company,d/b/a/ “Einstein’s Notes,” andTHOMAS G. BEAN, an individual,Defendants. ________________________________/ 
ORDER ON CROSS MOTIONS FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This case is primarily a copyright dispute involving materials for twowildlife issues courses taught by Dr. Michael Moulton at the University of Florida.The parties filed cross motions for partial summary judgment, which they havefully briefed and argued. Docs. 160 and 162. For the following reasons,Defendants’ motion will be granted as to Counts Five, Six, and Seven, and partof Count Three. Plaintiff’s motion will be denied.
I.BACKGROUND
Defendant Class Notes, L.L.C., is a business owned by Defendant
Case 1:08-cv-00049-SPM -GRJ Document 264 Filed 11/23/10 Page 1 of 15
 
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Thomas G. Bean. Class Notes, formerly known as Einstein’s Notes, sells notepackages to University of Florida students. Class Notes hires student notetakers as independent contractors to provide lecture summaries and studymaterials, which Class Notes edits and publishes for sale.Dr. Michael Moulton co-authored two electronic textbooks entitled “WildlifeIssues in the New Millennium” and “Global Perspectives in BiodiversityConservation.”
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Plaintiff Faulkner Press operates as a publishing company andpublishes Dr. Moulton’s textbooks. Dr. Moulton and Faulkner Press have appliedfor and obtained copyright registrations for Dr. Moulton’s textbooks as well as hislecture notes. Dr. Moulton has assigned his interests to Faulkner Press, whichseeks to enforce these copyrights against Class Notes and to hold Thomas G.Bean personally liable under theories of contributory infringement and vicariousliability.
A.Complaint
The complaint contains eight counts. The first three allege copyrightinfringement by Class Notes based on inclusion of copyrighted material in itsnote packages. The copyrights at issue are (1) Dr. Moulton’s 2007 lecture notes,
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Dr. Moulton requires students in his wild life issues courses to purchaseone or more of these textbooks at a cost of approximately $70 to $90 each. Thealleged copyright infringement in this case has not resulted in any lost profitsbecause the students are required to purchase the textbooks.
CASE NO.: 1:08cv49-SPM/GRJ
Case 1:08-cv-00049-SPM -GRJ Document 264 Filed 11/23/10 Page 2 of 15
 
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including lecture outlines, exams, and film study questions
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; (2) the soundrecordings of Dr. Moulton’s 2008 lectures
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; (3) an electronic textbook entitled,“Wildlife Issues in the New Millennium
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;” and (4) an electronic textbook entitled,“Global Perspectives in Biodiversity
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.”In Count One of the complaint, Faulkner Press alleges copyrightinfringement based on Class Notes’ inclusion of various practice questions
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fromthe electronic textbooks in its note packages. Count Two alleges copyrightinfringement based specifically on the film study questions
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, which are part of thelecture notes. Count Three is based on all other materials from the lecture notes
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Copyright Registration – TXu 1-344-546 (covering materials through thefirst exam, Spring 2007) and Copyright Registration – TXu 1-360-217 (coveringmaterials through the second exam, Spring 2007).
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Copyright Registration – TXu 1-360-217.
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Copyright Registration – SR 621-372.
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Copyright Registration – TX 6-841-738.
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The “practice questions” are multiple-choice questions that contain astatement with up to four responses for a user to select. Although some of thepractice questions are based on films contained in the textbooks, they aredifferent from the “film study” questions in that the practice questions come fromthe textbooks (not the lecture notes) and are in multiple choice form.
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The “film study questions” are fill in the blank statements that areincluded in the copyright for the lecture notes. Students obtained the film studyquestions either as handouts in class or by downloading them from a websiteassociated with the University of Florida. The film study questions trackinformation provided in films shown in class . Students are supposed to fill in theblanks as they watch the films to show that they are paying attention.
CASE NO.: 1:08cv49-SPM/GRJ
Case 1:08-cv-00049-SPM -GRJ Document 264 Filed 11/23/10 Page 3 of 15

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