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January 13th, 2017

NBF is pleased to announce an important victory for its client in an intellectual property matter. In Hempton v. Pond5, Inc., No. 3:15-CV-05696-BJR, 2016 WL 6217113 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 25, 2016), reconsideration denied, No. 3:15-CV-05696-BJR, 2017 WL 132453 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 13, 2017), plaintiff Gordon Hempton sued Pond5, Inc. for copyright infringement. Pond5 operates a website that allows artists and other media owners to upload digital media such as video, images, music and sound effects, and customers to download the media by purchasing a license that allows its use. Hempton, a nature sound recordist, alleged that his work was stolen and illegally uploaded to the Pond5 website. He alleged that Pond5 was liable for copyright violation for hosting the material on its website and issuing licenses to it. He claimed that he had sustained significant damages. He filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


NBF attorneys Larry Altenbrun and Curt Feig defended the lawsuit on behalf of Pond5. They filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DCMA”), which creates certain safe harbors for service providers who satisfy certain statutory requirements, including the removal of infringing content upon notice. In a detailed decision from Judge Rothstein, the court granted Pond5’s motion and held that it was entitled to protections under the DMCA. The decision includes important discussions about several elements of the DMCA safe harbor defense.


The Hempton v. Pond5 matter is another successful example of Nicoll Black & Feig’s growing intellectual property practice. We are regularly appointed, by companies and their insurers, to defend companies and individuals accused of various intellectual property violations.