Tying up loose ends on a few more cases that have come to an end
Over the last few years, we have posted about a number of cases that have reached quiet settlements or otherwise come to an end without us acknowledging them here. Here, we round up final updates on a few more of these cases:
Yesh Music, LLC v. William Penn University
We previously reported on this case in January of 2021. The case involved a Complaint by Yesh Music against William Penn University, alleging that the university had violated Yesh's copyright in a musical piece titled "Anything You Synthesize" by synchronizing it with a video about the university's athletic program. Soon after our post, Yesh ended the case by filing a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with Prejudice. It seems likely that the parties reached a private settlement of the dispute instead of continuing the litigation.
Jim Olive Photography v. University of Houston System
Our last update on this dispute was on December 6, 2021, and we had previously reported on it in July of 2019 and February of 2018. This long-running case concerned the University of Houston allegedly using a photograph without the authorization of the copyright owner, Jim Olive Photography. Olive framed the use as a "taking" by the government under the Texas Constitution, apparently as an effort to circumvent the sovereign immunity defense that often defeats copyright infringement actions against state schools. The case made its way up to the Texas Supreme Court, which found that the university's use of the photo did not deprive Olive of his rights to such a degree that it would constitute a taking (Olive didn't receive a licensing fee from the university but remained free to use the photo and license it to others). Olive petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review the case, hopeful that another recent SCOTUS ruling on takings would weigh in his favor, but SCOTUS declined, filing a Denial of Certiorari on March 21, 2022 and effectively closing the case.
Panoramic Stock Images, Ltd. v. Washington University in St. Louis
We reported on this case earlier this year on February 14, not long after Panoramic Stock Images sued Washington University in St. Louis for allegedly copying a panoramic stock image of the iconic Gateway Arch and using it on the university's website. Although the stock image company asserted in its complaint that the parties had failed to resolve the matter, a Consent Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint, filed by the university in March, indicated that the parties were still engaged in discussions that could "possibly lead to an early resolution" of the dispute. Apparently these discussions were successful; the stock image company filed a Notice of Settlement on April 4 and a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal on May 5.