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Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp.

336 F.3d 811 (2003)

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Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

336 F.3d 811 (2003)

Facts

Leslie Kelly (plaintiff) was a photographer who owned the copyright to photos of the American West. Arriba Soft Corp. (Arriba) (defendant) was an internet-search provider that allowed users to conduct searches that would return a series of relevant photos. The relevant photos were taken from websites on the internet and displayed in low-resolution thumbnail form. The thumbnail photos could not be enlarged without diminishing the quality of the photo. In addition, if a user clicked on the thumbnail photo, Arriba would display the full-size image by directing the user to the webpage that originally displayed the photo, although this redirection appeared within Arriba’s website. Arriba used 35 of Kelly’s copyrighted images in this way. Because Arriba replicated Kelly’s exact images, Kelly sued Arriba in federal district court and moved for summary judgment, arguing that the thumbnails constituted copyright infringement. The district court conducted two analyses and determined that although the thumbnail photos did not constitute copyright infringement, the full-size photos displayed within Arriba’s website did constitute copyright infringement. Kelly appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)

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