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Kelly v. Arriba Soft Inc.

United States District Court for the Central District of California
77 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (1999)


Ditto, formerly known as Arriba Soft Corporation (Ditto) (defendant), operated a search engine for images. The Ditto search returned results as thumbnail versions of relevant images from websites across the Internet. If a user clicked on a thumbnail, a webpage would open showing the full-size photograph from the website, absent the surrounding website content. The result page showing the full-size image would also show the link to the website where the image was found and a notice that users should check for use restrictions on the original website before copying. Ditto’s search engine indexed 35 images published by Kelly (plaintiff) on his websites about the California gold-rush country. Kelly objected to Ditto’s thumbnail display of his images, and Ditto removed the images from its index. Kelly then sued Ditto, alleging copyright infringement and violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1202(b) for removal of the images’ copyright-management information (CMI). Ditto moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Taylor, J.)

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