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Monday, June 29, 2015

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Richard Bell v. Cameron Taylor (SD Ind., Pratt), an 8-page opinion, Judge Flaum writes:

Richard Bell sued various defendants for copyright infringement, accusing each of impermissibly displaying a photo that he owns on websites promoting their respective businesses. Bell’s complaint sought both damages and an injunction prohibit-ing future use of the photo. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the damages issue, arguing that Bell cannot demonstrate how they caused him financial harm and, thus, that he is not entitled to monetary recov-ery. The district court granted the motion, and Bell ap-pealed. In addition to the summary judgment ruling, Bell contests the district court’s denial of two motions to com-pel and a motion seeking leave to file a fourth amended complaint.

We have no jurisdiction to decide these issues. Alt-hough the court purported to issue a “final judgment” after ruling on the defendants’ summary judgment mo-tion, it did so in error; the issue of injunctive relief was never adjudicated. Because Bell’s copyright claim was not entirely disposed of by the district court’s summary judgment ruling, the judgment—by definition—was not final. Accordingly, an appeal in this case is premature until the district court resolves Bell’s outstanding claims for injunctive relief.

Richard Bell, a lawyer and photographer, alleges that three small Indianapolis business owners (and the small businesses of two of those three defendants), violated federal copyright laws (and an Indiana theft statute) by publishing on the internet a photo that he took of the Indianapolis skyline without his authorization. * * *

For the foregoing reasons, we DISMISS this appeal for lack of jurisdiction and REMAND to the district court for resolution of the outstanding issues identified in this opinion.

Here are some links to earlier stories about this issue.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 29, 2015 07:11 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions