On March 22, 2019, a federal judge in Michigan found in Alticor Global Holdings, Inc. v. America Int'l Specialty Lines Ins. Co. that claims of copyright infringement by several major record labels are potentially covered under liability policies issued by AIG. Alticor involved a claim for coverage vote from suits by a group of entertainment companies against Amway, "accusing it of infringing hundreds of copyrighted sound recordings." Amway sought coverage from its umbrella insurer, AIG. AIG claimed that the personal injury and advertising injury coverage did not apply because "coverage extends only to advertisements of a Named Insured," ie Amway, and the underlying suit related to advertisements of Amway independent business owners. 1
The decision is a good reminder as to the breadth of coverage afforded under typical advertising injury coverage provisions. This breadth of coverage is particularly important at the duty to defend stage, where even a potential for coverage is sufficient to trigger the insurer's duty to defend or reimburse defense costs.