Philpot v. 420 Magazine, Inc.

Background information

Larry Philpot is a freelance photographer who photographed musician Willie Nelson, registered the photograph with the US Copyright Office, and made the photograph available under a Creative Commons license. Philpot allegedly found that 420 Magazine had published the Nelson photograph on their website without proper attribution or permission. Philpot contacted 420, and the magazine took the photo down, but refused to pay for its allegedly unauthorized use of the photo. Philpot sued 420, alleging that the magazine directly infringed his copyright and is liable for vicarious or contributory copyright infringement for allowing others to copy the photograph. Philpot appeared to send the complaint to 420's old address, so 420 did not file a response before their deadline. Philpot then filed a motion for entry of default and when 420 belatedly filed their motion to dismiss, Philpot filed a motion for Rule 11 sanctions.

Case summary

The magistrate judge recommended that the court grant 420's motion to dismiss, finding that the court lacked both specific and general personal jurisdiction over 420. Additionally, the magistrate judge recommended that Philpot's motion for entry of default and motion for Rule 11 sanctions be denied. The district court judge adopted the magistrate judge's recommendations and the case was dismissed.