A Federal Judge Is Accusing Disney of “Copyright Misuse” in Fight with Redbox

Depressed mature man holding paper and looking at it while sitting on the couch at homeRecently Disney filed a lawsuit against Redbox in an effort to stop them from selling digital download codes.

The issue comes as a result of Redbox buying Disney DVDs and Blu-rays with digital codes inside the box. Redbox has been renting the discs and selling the codes to Redbox customers. Disney claimed that was copyright infringement and sued Redbox to stop them from selling the codes.

Last Tuesday, US District Judge Dean D. Pregerson denied the studio’s request for an injunction, arguing that the warning that “codes are not for sale or transfer” on the DVD and Blu-ray packages did not constitute a binding contract.

“This improper leveraging of Disney’s copyright in the digital content to restrict secondary transfers of physical copies directly implicates and conflicts with public policy enshrined in the Copyright Act, and constitutes copyright misuse,” Pregerson wrote.

Redbox has recently countersued Disney accusing Disney of anticompetitive behavior. Redbox has also asked for the lawsuit Disney brought to be dismissed. There is a hearing scheduled for March 5 to decide if Disney’s lawsuit can go forward.

This is a major case for the rights of content owners to sell physical unused digital codes. Many are looking at this lawsuit as a potential groundbreaking precedent.

Source: The Verge

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