House of Bryant Publications, L.L.C. v. A&E Television Networks

Defendant's Memorandum in support of Motion to Dismiss


Response to Complaint filed by A&E Television Network for copyright infringement for the unauthorized use of 12 seconds of the song "Rocky Top" in an episode of the television show CITY CONFIDENTIAL.

The song is included in a scene of a University of Tennessee football game as performed by the school’s marching band. Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss states: “During this brief sequence, and as part of the actual noise occurring within the stadium, the UTK marching band can be heard playing an instrumental version of the musical composition “Rocky Top.” The song is audible for a total of approximately twelve seconds; however, the tremendous noise of the crowd and the narration of the documentary obscure the song for approximately six of the twelve seconds. Therefore, the song “Rocky Top” can be heard on its own for only six seconds of the Program.”

A&E, citing the 2008 court ruling regarding the use of the song “Imagine,” argues the usage was “fair use” which is a defense to copyright infringement. In the “Imagine” case, Yoko Ono -- the plaintiff, was denied an injunction for an unauthorized use of the song “Imagine” in the film Expelled, with the court holding the defendant/alleged infringer was likely to prevail on a fair use defense. A&E, like the defendant in the “Imagine” case, is relying on the transformative nature of the use. The Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of the Motion To Dismiss argues the use of “Rocky Top” is transformative in that it is used to portray the atmosphere around Knoxville and the lyrics, used in context with the subject matter of the murder mystery, are a commentary on what life should be like in Tennessee.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

Reference Info:Legal Memoranda: Motion Addressed to Pleadings | Federal, 6th Circuit, Tennessee | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Tamera Bennett, Bennett Law Office, PC | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »


Tamera Bennett
Bennett Law Office, PC

Tamera H. Bennett is a wife, mom, lawyer, mediator, blogger, podcaster, and legal writer. Tamera... View Profile »

Follow Bennett Law Office, PC:

Reporters on Deadline

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.