Huntington Beach, CA. February 6, 2002 - Leslie A. Kelly, Plaintiff, Kelly v Arriba Soft, Inc, announced today that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in his favor for copyright infringement and remanded the case back to the US District Court, Santa Ana, California, for determination of damages.
"I am quite pleased to learn that my original case filed in April 1999 against Arriba Soft has come down in my favor. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined the case as it was filed, a simple case of vicarious copyright infringement, by Arriba Soft, Inc., whose true use was disguised as an "image search engine". I was not surprised by the wisdom of the Circuit Judges who reached the decision. I am quite pleased to see that copyright owners worldwide now have case law to enhance their protection from rogue start up image search engines, such as Arriba Soft's Arriba Vista Image Searcher and Diggit! Image Search, and other infringers that seek to make "easy millions" using intellectual property without license.
"I am also pleased to see the decision that image search engines can use thumbnail images under "fair use" so long as they link directly to the webpage to show the image in its original context as it was intended by the website owner! This puts them on the same par as text engines and will enhance their usefulness for all concerned. To isolate images and present them outside the context of the original purpose of the website owner is now very clearly illegal!
"It should be carefully noted that this decision affirms that existing US Copyright Law protects images located on the Internet. Kelly v Arriba Soft will now take its place with other Internet copyright law decisions such as recent important cases won against Napster (music) and Tasini v NY Times (republication of news stories) and Jerry Greenberg v National Geographic (reuse of images on CD-ROM).
"I wish to thank my Attorneys, Charles Ossola, Arnold & Porter, Washington, DC, who handled the appeal process before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Jule Sigall, Arnold & Porter, who assisted with the case, and to Steven L. Krongold, Arter & Hadden, Irvine, CA, who prosecuted the case before the US District Court in Santa Ana. I also wish to acknowledge the strong support of creators of intellectual property worldwide who have been supportive of my actions. The list includes Vic Perlman, American Society of Media Photographers, Inc., Philadelphia, Steven Schubert, Graphic Artists Guild, New York, The Author?s Guild, Inc, North American Nature Photography Association, National Music Publishers' Association, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc., American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc., The National Writers Union, The Picture Agency Council of America, The Association of Medical Illustrators, and The Society of Illustrators."