November 26, 2009

A&E Denied Motion To Dismiss Claim Of Copyright Fair Use For Use of Song

Exclusive Rights reports that cable network A&E’s motion to dismiss has been denied in a copyright infringement lawsuit stemming from the use of “Rocky Top,” the state song of Tennessee.  The copyright-holder of “Rocky Top” filed suit against the television network after it used between 12-14 seconds of the song in two segments of its television show City Confidential.  If you intend to use the music of another in your movie, television show, or song, contact one of our expert copyright lawyers to get a copyright fair use assessment toll free at 866.936.7447.

The Middle District of Tennessee held that dismissing the case on the grounds of copyright fair use was premature.  Both the Plaintiffs and A&E used Lennon v. Premise Media Corp, 556 F.Supp.2d 310 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) as precedent, but the court held that Lennon was distinguishable on the grounds that the use of Lennon’s song in that case was transformative.  Affidavits and declarations, the court held, proved that the use of Lennon’s song was transformative, and such evidence was absent in this case at this early stage without the benefit of discovery. 

If you believe that you are making a fair use of another’s work, it is best to work with an attorney to get a copyright fair use assessment.  A copyright fair use assessment will provide you with fair use arguments that can bolster your fair use defense.  Contact one of our expert copyright fair use lawyers today at 866.936.7447.


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