Intellectual Property Law

New Matter FALL 2015 Volume 40, Number 3

Case Comments

LOWELL ANDERSON Stetina Brunda Garred & Brucker


The actress here was not an author of her performance in a dubbed movie resulting in a fatwa against the actor. The Copyright Office’s policy is to not allow a copyright claim by an individual actor or actress in their performance in a movie. The actress here neither fixed her performance in a tangible medium nor controlled the movie production. Copyright encourages public performance, not a right of privacy. The Actress’ performance did not qualify for moral rights protection under 17 U.S.C. 10(A) as movies are excluded from that section. A mandatory injunction which orders a responsible party to take action requires establishing that the facts and law clearly favor relief, not simply a likelihood of success. A takedown order for the "Innocence of Muslims" was a classic prior restraint of free speech on an important issue of public interest and not likely to result in removing all copies of the movie from the internet. "[A] weak copyright claim cannot justify censorship in the guise of authorship." The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a preliminary injunction. Garcia v. Google, Inc., 786 F.3d 733, 114 U.S.P.Q.2d 1607 (9th Cir. 2015) (en banc).


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