Copyright Law Ronald W. Staudt Class 17 October 24, 2013 Law 360 news [email protected], 10/24/2013 2nd Circ. Won't Rethink Marvel's IP Win Over Artist's Heirs The Second Circuit refused Tuesday to reconsider a panel's ruling that Marvel Comics Worldwide Inc. owns the copyrights to comic books drawn by legendary artist Jack Kirby, rejecting a request by Kirby's children to rehear or hold an en banc hearing on the decision. 50 Cent Hit With Copyright Suit Over Song's Promo Image Rapper 50 Cent was hit with a federal copyright infringement claim in Texas federal court Tuesday that claims hes wrongfully using an image shot by a Houston photographer in online promotion of one of his songs.
TV One Beats Infringement Claims Over Restaurant Show A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed copyright infringement claims in a suit that accused TV One LLC of intentionally plagiarizing a show in order to create its own restaurant-themed program, Belle's, ruling the works are not substantially similar. Warner Wins Stay Of Some Claims In 'Happy Birthday' Suit A Warner Music Group Corp. unit partially won its bid to narrow a class action alleging the company is claiming bogus copyright protection for the ubiquitous song Happy Birthday to You, as a California federal judge on Wednesday limited the case to the central issue of the copyright's validity. Infringement Arnstein v. Porter Prima Facie case ownership copying improper appropriation Infringement
Arnstein v. Porter Prima Facie case COPYING proved by Defendants admission or Circumstantial evidence: Access + similarity if no similarity then no amount of evidence of access will prove copying if evidence of access & similarity, then trier of fact with experts and dissection If striking similarity may not need to prove access Infringement Arnstein v. Porter Prima Facie case IMPROPER APPROPRIATION Lay observer no experts or dissection Striking similarity can do double duty but proof of improper appropriation need not be enough to prove copying.
Often called Substantial similarity Quality and quantity of expression Different from probative similarity Nichols v. Universal the abstractions test. Facts P author of play Abies Irish Rose Religion, twins and multiple marriage D produced Cohens and the Kellys Money, inheritance, marriage and twins The right cannot be limited literally to the text else a plagiarist would escape by immaterial variations. Block in situ- fragmented literal similarity Abstract of the whole- comprehensive nonliteral similarity
Upon any work ***a great number of patterns of increasing generality will fit equally well, as more and more of the incident is left out Skeleton expression/idea Characters more development = more protection Application of these principles-- infringing copying?? Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Facts Ps play Dishonored Lady about Madeleine Cary Moreno, Farnborough, strychnine Ps play based on book about Madeleine Smith- news Lowndes wrote book about Letty & Ekebon & arsenic D produced movie Letty Lynton based on book Renaul & Darrow & strychnine
D denies using play, DJ agrees D took only ideas Keats and independent creation Public domain relevant to work only on issue of infringement makes Ds denial of copying more plausible Copying, infringing copying, unconscious copying, perjury Cary is like Letty of the movie, not Smith or book!--595 Plot, details, incidents of movie track the play!596 a play may be pirated without using the dialogue no plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate
Substantial Similarity Examples Textbooks Bamboozle Sally Hemings Zagats Terminator Ordinary observer the audience the author intended to be the commercial market
Approaches Whole of the copied portions of Ps work, like a compilation (Boisson v. Banians concept and feel- quilt) With more discerning gloss or Only able elements of Ps work, dissection /extraction approach Dawson Lay v. choral director
Lyons Kids-Duffy or parentsBarney New Orleans photos? 604-5 Improper Appropriation or Infringing Copying software case Computer Associates International v. Altai Facts: literal elements of OSCAR 3.5 not substantially similar to ADAPTER, what about its structure? Idea/expression Abstraction: Nichols Filtration Efficiency: Baker v. Seldon, Morrissey External factors: Hoehling, scenes a faire
Public domain: Sheldon v. MGM Comparison Blehm v. Jacobs Facts Penmen Improper Appropriation copying Substantial similarity Infringing Jake DC says remove common general conceptsremaining expression is thin! themes &
Ps penmen have detached round heads half filled with smiles, thin, long legs, four fingers and long fat feet compare images Both have round heads not really Similar proportions- not really Four fingers, black line bodies and big half moon smiles Smiles are different, maybe penman is a hairline! Protected expressive choices are not substantially similar Copying is not infringement- d copied ideas not expression so d is a copier but not an infringer!!
Harney v. Sony Pictures Television Facts: Amber alert uses ed photo by Harney Sony recreates the image for TV show DC enters SJ for D, affirmed.why? Standard for infringement is Peter Pan after dissection. what does protect in new photos? Kisch, Manion here: neither subject nor arrangement are Ps ID protected elements and compare them. what about differences- background, lighting, religious detail Warner Bros. Ent. v. X One X Prod. Facts Movie posters & lobby cards
Gone with the Wind Wizard of Oz Tom and Jerry funniest moments T-shirts, playing cards figurines & action figures Movies in Warner Bros. Ent. v. X One X Prod. Extraction of images and new works? Sherlock Holmes example Silverman example A new work that incorporated character traits newly introduced by nine later original stories still under copyright would infringe those copyrights Scope of film copyrights and Scope of posters in PD?? Superman analogy- ad in black and white with raised car??
Does it matter if poster is released before or after films? Tom & Jerry, GWTW and Wizard of Ozcharacter scope? Ds use of the poster images Identical 2d image T shirts, cards etc Composite works 2d into 3d products- globes, action figures
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