3 Count: Aging Bull

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1: MGM Swings for Knockout in ‘Raging Bull’ Lawsuit

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter’ “Hollywood, Esquire” column reports that MGM has filed a motion for summary judgment in the Raging Bull case, seeking to bring an end to a long-running and convoluted copyright lawsuit.

The lawsuit began Paula Petrella filed suit against MGM, claiming that its continued exploitation of the moving Raging Bull was a violation of copyrights she controlled. As the daughter of Frank Petrella, who co-authored the book that the iconic movie is based on, Paula Petrella holds the copyright in a series of screenplays that she claims the book was based upon. However, MGM says it was the reverse and that they paid for the rights to the book.

The case reached the Supreme Court over Petrella’s 18-year delay in filing the lawsuit. Though lower courts held she had waited to long to pursue her claims, the Supreme Court gave the green light for the lawsuit to move forward. Now MGM is attacking the screenplay/book issue, saying that it was repeatedly written in the contract that the book was “an original work of authorship” and that it could not have been based on the screenplay, but rather, that the reverse is true. On those grounds, MGM is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit.

2: GSU Lawyers: No Do-Over in Key Copyright Case

Next up today, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that lawyers for Georgia State University (GSU) have filed a motion counting the publishers request for additional evidence, saying that that there is no need for a new trial and that any reevaluation of the case should be limited to the facts already in play.

GSU was sued by textbook publishers over their electronic reserves (ereserves) system, which saw the college create an unofficial catalog of electronic of course packs rather than using the ones provided by publishers based on their books.

Initially, the publishers were largely defeated in their lawsuit. Though they brought 99 claims of infringement against the school, only 5 were ruled to be an infringement after only half were put to a fair use test due to technicalities and others were ruled to be non-infringing for various reasons, including the lack of a digital license being offered. However, the Elevent Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the lower court, saying it was improper in its analysis. Now the publishers are wanting new evidence, saying that the last information they have is from 2009 but GSU is saying such additional evidence would be improper and might lead to a needless second trial.

3: Artist Claims ‘Archer’ Swiped Her Paintings

Finally today, this is how you get a lawsuit, Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News Service reports that artist Mcihel Leah Keck has sued FX Networks and twentieth Century Fox over the popular cartoon Archer, claiming that it made use of three of her paintings.

According to Keck, a set in the animated show features three paintings of hers entitled Sink or Swim, The Best is Yet to Come and I Don’t Want to Hear It on the office walls.

She is seeks $30,000 per infringement if it is fund to be unintentional and $150,000 per infringement if it is found to be intentional.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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