Digital imaging company Imagination Media has said it’s not prepared to defend the copyright law in court, while the US Copyright Office said it would review its legal position following an earlier ruling that said it had to do so.
Read more: Digital copyright enforcement laws are still controversial in the US, says Hollywood and film industry executiveThe US Copyright office’s January 5 ruling that Imagination would be required to defend its digital rights in court if the US government went after the company’s customers and intellectual property was being infringed, which was upheld by a US appeals court in October.
The decision was widely criticised by copyright advocates and technology companies.
In a blog post, Imagination said it “remains confident” that the US law was unconstitutional and that it would fight it.
“The Copyright Office’s decision is a troubling step in the wrong direction,” Imagination CEO Chris Dixon said in a blogpost on Thursday.
“We are not prepared, nor will we ever be, to defend our rights in an adversarial environment, where there is no recourse for victims of infringement.”
The Copyright office also ruled that Imaginary had to pay $400,000 in damages to the US Government, and that Imagery was barred from obtaining or selling the copyright to any third party.
In its ruling, the Copyright Office described Imagination’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a “highly burdensome” and “arbitrary” law that “requires us to fight in court.”
Imagination has a business relationship with the US Federal Government, which it says has made it “a target for the takedown of infringing content”, including some of the material that led to the court decision.
The US Government says Imagination has violated copyright by selling content without permission.
Imaginary has said that it has a copyright “right” to sell digital images, and the DMCA allows the agency to take legal action against anyone it believes infringes copyright.
Imaging’s Chief Financial Officer and President of Creative Technologies, Andrew Niesen, said the ruling is “an unwelcome blow to our business”.
“Imaginations role in providing the world with digital imagery and content continues unabated,” Niesens blog post said.
“The decision to seek an injunction against us for the purpose of enforcing our intellectual property rights has caused great concern and distress.”
The company’s Chief Executive Officer, James O’Neill, also said he would take “every legal action necessary” to defend against the ruling.
The ruling came as US President Donald Trump took a hard line on the US’s controversial copyright laws, calling for a “new era” in the fight against copyright infringement.
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