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Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. v. Connectix Corporation

203 F.3d 596 (2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 871

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Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. v. Connectix Corporation

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

203 F.3d 596 (2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 871

Facts

Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. (plaintiff) manufactured and sold the Sony PlayStation console and owned the underlying software program (BIOS) that operated its console. Connectix Corporation (defendant) made and sold a software program called the Virtual Game Station that made it possible for those that did not own a Sony PlayStation console to use Sony videogames on a personal computer. To create the Virtual Game Station, Connectix repeatedly copied BIOS during a process of reverse engineering in order to ascertain how the Sony PlayStation console functioned. The resulting Virtual Game Station, however, did not contain any BIOS material. Sony brought suit against Connectix for copyright infringement and sought a preliminary injunction. The district court ruled that the intermediate copies made and used by Connectix during the course of its reverse engineering of BIOS was not protected fair use and enjoined Connectix from selling the Virtual Game Station or otherwise using BIOS. Connectix appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Canby, J.)

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