Court Cases

How Fair Use Prevailed in the Harry Potter Case

In a highly publicized decision issued on September 8, 2008, US District Court Judge Robert Patterson ruled that Steven Vander Ark's Harry Potter Lexicon infringed J.K. Rowling's copyright. Although J. K. Rowling prevailed in the litigation, the big winner actually was fair use.

pdf band-harry-potter-29sept08.pdf

 
 

A Victory For Media Neutrality: The Eleventh Circuit's En Banc Decision in Greenberg v. National Geographic Society (Jul. 9, 2008)

Sitting en banc, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on June 30, 2008, decided Greenberg v. National Geographic Society, finding that the CD-ROM set, "The Complete National Geographic" (CNG), was a privileged revision of a collective work under 17 U.S.C. § 201(c) and not a "new collective work" in violation of Mr. Greenberg's copyrights. This case is in line with the Second Circuit's decision in Faulkner v. National Geographic Enters., further clarified the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in New York Times Co. v. Tasini, and importantly, upheld the "long embraced doctrine of media neutrality" that the "transfer of a work between media does not alter the character of that work for copyright purposes."

pdf greenberg-v-natgeo-summary-09jul08.pdf

 
 

Greenberg v. National Geographic Society: Amicus Brief in support of National Geographic Society

Two photographers claimed that the inclusion of their photographs in the National Geographic Society's (NGS) CD-ROM version of the NGS magazine violated their copyrights and that the NGS was not exempt under Section 201(c) of the Copyright Act.

pdf amici-greenberg-18oct07.pdf

 
 

Greenberg v. National Geographic Society, Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Jun. 13, 2007)

This case presents the question of whether Section 201(c) of the Copyright Act accords a magazine publisher a privilege to produce a digital compilation that contains exact images of its past magazine issues.

pdf greenbergreversal13june07.pdf

 
 
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