Nikita, Natasha, in this instance, it doesn’t matter: U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve in Chicago has tossed out an Australian free-lance photojournalist’s lawsuit against the famous songwriting duo of Sir Elton John and lyricist Berni Taupin, as well as music publisher Big Pig Music. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, saying plaintiff Guy Hobbs failed to state a claim pursuant to section 12(b)6 of the federal code of civil procedure. Hobbs had complained to John since 2001 that the noted entertainer had used his lyrics without permission. Hobbs sued in April, 2012, asserting violation of title 17 section 101 of the 1976 copyright act, as well as supplemental state law claims — constructive trust and accounting. Defendants had not moved to dismiss Hobbs’ complaint as untimely, though the statute of limitations for copyright infringement is three years from the date the plaintiff discovers or should have discovered the infringement. Instead, defendants asked the court to consider if the two sets of lyrics were substantially similar for purposes of copyright infringement. The Seventh Circuit recently simplified the test to whether “the two works share enough unique features to give rise to a breach of the duty not to copy another’s work.” Peters, 692 F.3d at 633-34. “The test for substantial similarity is an objective one.” JCW Inv., Inc. v. Novelty, Inc., 482 F.3d 910, 916 (7th Cir. 2007). The court put Hobbs’ song, Natasha, about a love affair between during the Cold War between an American man and Ukrainian woman, side-by-side with the John-Taupin tune, Nikita, about a relationship between a Western man and an East German woman during the Cold War. The Seventh Circuit decided, “[i]f the copied parts are not, on their own, protectable expression, then there can be no claim for infringement of the reproduction right.” Peters, 692 F.3d at 632; see also Incredible Tech., 400 F.3d at 1011-12. The court added that, even if it viewed all the the elements in combination, “Hobbs has not plausibly alleged that ‘Nikita’ infringes on ‘Natasha’ ” because the two works do not share any unique features that “give rise to a breach of the duty not to copy another’s work.” Peters, 692 F.3d at 633-34; see Selle, 741 F.3d at 904.
Court tosses suit over Sir Elton John tune
Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/biedermanblog.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/Extra/includes/template-tags.php on line 54