The operator of a YouTube channel criticizing the pastor of a church was not entitled to punitive damages in a malicious prosecution case when the church relied on counsel in initiating a copyright infringement suit.

In a malicious prosecution of copyright infringement claims brought by the operator of a YouTube channel that featured videos containing clips from sermons by the senior pastor of “megachurch” New Destiny Christian Center, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta has held that the federal district court in Orlando properly denied punitive damages. The appeals court ruled the district court did not err in finding the evidence insufficient to support an award of punitive damages, concluding that the church had a good-faith basis for relying on counsel in initiating the copyright infringement action and that the church’s primary purpose in the underlying action was to prevent infringement (Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church, Inc., May 20, 2019, per curiam).

Case date: 20 May 2019
Case number: 18-13940.
Court: United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


To make sure you do not miss out on regular updates from the Kluwer Copyright Blog, please subscribe here.

Kluwer IP Law

The 2022 Future Ready Lawyer survey showed that 79% of lawyers think that the importance of legal technology will increase for next year. With Kluwer IP Law you can navigate the increasingly global practice of IP law with specialized, local and cross-border information and tools from every preferred location. Are you, as an IP professional, ready for the future?

Learn how Kluwer IP Law can support you.

Kluwer IP Law
This page as PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *