Plaintiff, photographer Stephanie Sinclair, moved for reconsideration of the district court’s opinion and order dismissing her copyright case against defendants Mashable Inc., a media and entertainment platform that operates the website mashable.com, and its parent company, Ziff Davis LLC. The court granted plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, concluding that in light of “persuasive authority…and in order to correct clear error,” plaintiff’s copyright claim could no longer be dismissed on the basis of a sublicense defense.
Considering McGucken, the district court reasoned, Instagram’s Platform Policy statement was susceptible to competing interpretations and was therefore insufficiently clear to “warrant dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims at this stage of litigation.” The court amended its previous decision, now holding that “the pleadings contain insufficient evidence to find that Instagram granted Mashable a sublicense to embed Plaintiff’s Photograph on its website.”
While the court granted plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration on this issue, the court “adhered to its prior holdings in all other respects.” The court maintained that “Plaintiff failed to state a claim of copyright infringement against Ziff Davis” because “pleading that Ziff Davis controls Mashable, the alleged infringer, is insufficient to state a claim of copyright infringement against Ziff Davis.”
Summary prepared by David Grossman and Lyndsi Allsop