Houston Independent School District Ordered to Pay $9.2 Million in Copyright Infringement Case
DALLAS - Klemchuk LLP, a leading litigation, intellectual property (IP), and business law firm, proudly congratulates DynaStudy, Inc. on its $9.2 million verdict against the Houston Independent School District for copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).
DynaStudy is one of Texas’ leading educational publishing companies, serving at least 660 school districts since 2006—including its largest customer, HISD. Beginning in 2012, DynaStudy discovered that various HISD teachers had posted unauthorized copies of its student course notes online. When infringement continued despite numerous letters from DynaStudy to the district, DynaStudy was forced to bring suit in May 2016. After three years of active litigation and a two-week trial, jurors in the Southern District of Texas unanimously determined that HISD willfully violated thirty-six separate copyrights and committed violations of the DMCA specific to seventeen separate copyrights, all owned by DynaStudy.
“After years of litigation, we are thrilled with the trial results for our client DynaStudy, Inc.,” said Managing Partner Darin M. Klemchuk. “We are also very proud of how the whole team performed at trial.”
As noted in a June 6, 2019, article in Above the Law,
This case is a pretty egregious case of copyright infringement, with administrators and educators either completely ignorant of copyright law or aware and content to ignore the ramifications. Neither willful blindness nor blatant disregard for copyright law go over well in copyright cases.
Importantly, particularly in the context of educational publishing, this case confirms longstanding law that not all educational use is fair use.
The attorneys that represented DynaStudy, Inc. in the case were Mandi Phillips and Darin M. Klemchuk of Klemchuk LLP, along with their paralegal, Gail Ashby, and attorneys Gary Sorden and Tim Craddock of Cole Schotz PC. Rob Helt and his team at DeFacto Trialworks as well as many others were also instrumental in the success at trial.
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About the Firm:
Klemchuk LLP is a litigation, intellectual property, transactional, and international business law firm dedicated to protecting innovation. The firm provides tailored legal solutions to industries including software, technology, retail, real estate, consumer goods, ecommerce, telecommunications, restaurant, energy, media, and professional services. The firm focuses on serving mid-market companies seeking long-term, value-added relationships with a law firm. Learn more about experiencing law practiced differently and our local counsel practice.
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