Media.net Advertising is an online contextual-advertising provider. Customers can use Media.net’s web based platform to create custom ads. Media.net registered its copyrights for its Original Media.net Results Page and its Revised Media.net Results Page. The registrations listed HTML Code and text as the type of work created.
Media.net sued competitor NetSeer for copyright infringement, alleging that NetSeer directly copied Media.net’s HTML code, including the non-functional portions of the code, and that NetSeer created its own search results page using the code it copied from Media.net. NetSeer moved for summary judgment Media.net’s copyright claims on that basis that Media.net’s copyright registrations did not contain copyrightable material. NetSeer also moved to dismiss the complaint for failing to identify the portions of Media.net’s HTML code that NetSeer copied.
The district court ruled that Media.net’s copyright registrations contain copyrightable subject matter and are valid and denied NetSeer’s motion for summary judgment.