Zalewski v. Cicero Builder Dev., Inc., No. 12-3448 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, an architect, and the company through which he does business, filed suit asserting that he created then licensed numerous designs for colonial homes to two construction companies and that these companies and their contractors infringed his copyright in these designs by using them in ways the licenses did not permit after the licenses had expired. Plaintiff also alleged that defendants' actions violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. 1202(b). The district court dismissed plaintiff's claims against some defendants, granted summary judgment in favor of the remaining defendants, and granted attorney's fees to two defendants. The court affirmed in part and held that (1) any copying of plaintiff's designs extended only to unprotected elements of his works, and (2) plaintiff failed to plead a violation of the DMCA. The court vacated in part and held that the district court misapplied the incorrect legal standard in awarding attorney's fees, remanding for the district court to apply the correct standard.