Copyright and Bar Exam Questions
A federal district court recently held that PMBR was liable for a copyright violation for using questions from the Multistate Bar Examination in its classes and materials. PMBR, the “Preliminary Multistate Bar Review,” is a bar exam preparation course. The opinion is available here.
The court concluded that many of the questions in PMBR’s materials are similar to those on the Multistate Bar Exam. In assessing damages, the court noted that “[s]ince plaintiff lost no hypothetical royalties, I cannot award actual damages in compensation. I can and will, however, factor the uniquely proprietary nature of the infringed questions
into apportionment of defendants’ profits.” Accordingly, the court awarded the plaintiffs nearly $12 million, one third of PMBR’s gross revenues during the time period of the violations. Moreover, the court held:
Defendants will be enjoined from copying, duplicating, distributing, selling, publishing, reproducing, renting, leasing, offering or otherwise transferring or communicating in any manner, orally or in written, printed, photographic or other form, including any communication in any class or other presentation, any questions obtained directly from any of NCBE’s copyrighted secure tests.
Hat tip: Lawschool.com