Sunday, November 06, 2011

10th Circuit Finds "Let's Go Thunder" To Be Uncopyrightable

In Syrus v. Bennett, the court of appeals for the 10th Circuit considered the issue of whether a man who claimed copyright in the short phrases "Go Thunder" and "Let's Go Thunder" had stated a claim. Referring to the Feist requirement of originality and copyright's requirement that copyright protection extends only to works that "are the fruits of intellectual labor" the court found that the phrases plaintiff claimed were infringed were not copyrightable. Adding "Let's Go" or "Go" which are common cheers to the team name required no "intellectual labor".

The plaintiff claimed that he'd written a song with these phrases and distributed the song to the team in response to a team request for song submissions.  The plaintiff pro se did not allege any copying.  Plaintiff's suit was dismissed on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the federal rules of civil procedure. The decision is unpublished, embedded below.

Syrus v. Bennett - Copyright Infringement
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