Youku Secures Appellate Win in Copyright Case

On July 17, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of copyright infringement claims asserted against Skadden client Plaintiff Triple Up contended that Youku’s streaming of certain movies into the United States infringed Triple Up’s exclusive broadcast rights under the Copyright Act. Youku, which has a principal place of business in China, argued that the mere accessibility of its website in the District of Columbia (or United States), and the assertion Youku’s videos included ads geo-targeted for U.S.-based products or services, was not sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction in the U.S. The Court of Appeals agreed, finding that “nothing in the complaint plausibly alleges or indicates that United States viewers ‘actually engage in any business transactions with the defendant[]’ here.” The court also affirmed the denial of Triple Up’s request for jurisdictional discovery, “holding that Triple Up has offered nothing more than a jurisdictional theory in search of facts to go with it,” and that such a jurisdictional “fishing expedition” was not appropriate.