Property, intangible

a blog about ownership of intellectual property rights and its licensing

Two Band Members Heave a Sigh of Relief

I have written several times before (caution recursive link) about the copyright infringement lawsuit over the highly-successful “Jersey Boys” musical, based on the band the Four Seasons. Briefly, the widow of an author of an unpublished biography of one of the band members, Tommy DeVito, claimed infringement of the book. It’s very convoluted with just about every argument over copyright authorship it is possible to have.

It has ended for two of the defendants, band members Valli and Gaudio, with the simple holding on judgment as a matter of law that the plaintiff did not prove that these two defendants had an intent to copy the allegedly infringed work:

As discussed on the record, … although infringement does not require a willful intent to violate a copyright as required for enhanced damages, it still requires an intent to copy even if the copier does not realize that the copying violates a copyright. There was no evidence adduced at trial indicating that Valli or Gaudio knew that the writers had copied from the Work in creating Jersey Boys.

Needless to say no willful infringement either. The jury trial continues for the rest of the defendants.

Corbello v. DeVito, No. 2:08-cv-00867-RCJ-PAL (D. Nev. Nov. 17, 2016)

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