Thursday, July 18, 2013

First Published Court Opinion to Mention "Sharknado" -- And It's Actually a Good Fair Use Opinion

The William Faulkner estate sued Sony Pictures for copyright infringement because the movie Midnight in Paris used a single line from Faulkner's book, Requiem for a Nun.  Fortunately, a Mississippi district court dismissed this case on the grounds of fair use. The opinion is well-reasoned, but that didn't stop the Judge from having a little fun.  The opinion begins as follows:
Presently before the court is the motion of the defendant, Sony Pictures Classics, Inc. (“Sony”), seeking dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The plaintiff, Faulkner Literary Rights, LLC (“Faulkner”) has responded in opposition. The court has viewed Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris, read the book, Requiem for a Nun, and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare The Sound and the Fury with Sharknado.
This has to be the first court opinion to mention the movie Sharknado, already a Sci-fi classic.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Interview With The Recorder

The Recorder, a San Francisco-based legal newspaper, recently published a report on intellectual property.  I am interviewed at pages 28-29 of the report (the last two pages of the PDF).

UPDATE:  Here is the video of the interview.