Monday, September 23, 2013

Copyright Law - Second Circuit - Is It Copyright Infringement If You Play It In Russian?

Audiovisual Works, DVD Sales, License Agreements, Multilingual Licensing, Subtitles, Copyright Infringement

Russian Entertainment Wholesale, Inc. v. Close-Up International, Inc., 2012 WL 1525080 (2d Cir. 2012). 


Where licensee had licensed “Russian language only” or “English language only” rights to distribute Russian language films in the United States, could the licensor claim copyright infringements over production of DVDs with multilingual functionality?  The Second Circuit found the answer in New York contract law.  The parties could have agreed that functionality in DVDs that permitted subtitles or other languages could have been disabled, but did not agree to do so.  Additionally, facilitating viewers watching a video with an added or missing language did not rise to contributory or vicarious copyright infringement as a matter of law.

To read Judges Calabresi, Raggi and Chin's summary order and judgment, click here.
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2012-2013) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

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