Kelley v. The Universal Music Group, No. 14-cv-2968 (S.D.N.Y.
In a case alleging that a song by the artist "Fabulous"
infringed plaintiffs' 1974 song by including an unauthorized sample, the Court
dismissed the pro se plaintiffs' copyright claim without prejudice to amend
based on their lack of standing. The Court found that a copyright registration
listing the plaintiffs as authors but not claimants rebutted their claim; but,
that plaintiffs could replead to allege that they have standing as "beneficial
owners" (i.e. a right to collect royalties), which was not sufficiently pleaded. The other state-law claims for violation of
"poetic license " and "fraudulent deceit" were held to be
preempted by the copyright act, and the mental anguish claim was not a remedy
authorized by the statute.
Jordan Greenberger, Esq.
J. Greenberger, PLLC. A boutique law practice in Brooklyn, New York, concentrating on copyright, trademark, litigation and related matters.