IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update For Motion Picture Studios And Television Networks - May 18, 2011


Table of Contents

•Harney v. Sony Pictures Television, Inc.

•Forest Park Pictures v. Universal Television Network, Inc.

Harney v. Sony Pictures Television, Inc., USDC D. Massachusetts, May 12, 2011

•District court rejects photographer’s copyright infringement claim relating to plaintiff’s photograph of a person who was the subject of defendants’ made-for-television movie.

Plaintiff, a photographer, brought a copyright infringement action against Sony Pictures Television and A&E Television Networks, LLC, claiming that an image appearing in defendants’ made-for-television movie infringed his photograph. The defendants moved for summary judgment, which the court granted.

Forest Park Pictures v. Universal Television Network, Inc., USDC S.D. New York, May 10, 2011

•Court, applying Second Circuit caselaw, dismisses action for breach of implied-in-fact contract as preempted by the Copyright Act.

Plaintiff Forest Park Pictures, a California-based production company with its principal place of business in Los Angeles, and Tove and Hayden Christensen, individuals who are affiliated with Forest Park and residents of California and Canada, respectively, brought suit against defendant Universal Television Network ("USA Network"), a television production company with its principal place of business in New York, alleging that defendant misappropriated an idea for a television series they developed, using the concept without compensation. The district court dismissed the single-claim complaint, holding that plaintiffs’ claim under state law was preempted by the Copyright Act.

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