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 The decision is unpublished, embedded below.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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Labels: copyright infringement, copyright law, copyrightability of short phrases, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), federal rules of civil procedure, feist, oklahoma city thunder, originality
Partner in Manhattan law firm Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP in New York City litigating in federal and state courts and arbitrations. Experienced trial and appellate practitioner. Author: Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters 2015-2016). The New York Law Journal called it "an indispensable guide". Serve on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, served as Chair of the Circuit Vice Presidents, Vice President for the Second Circuit and General Counsel. Member Board of Governors, National Arts Club. President, Network of Bar Leaders (2013-2014). Attorney advertising disclaimer - prior results do not guarantee success. The statements and opinions voiced here are my own and not of my law firm.