Tuesday 15 October 2013

Basing a work on existing facts and/or characters: a reader asks

This blogger has received a request for information from a regular reader which looks ripe for a spot of crowd-sourcing:
"Do you know of any recent United States or British judicial decisions along the lines of Nichols v Universal Pictures Corporation in the USA ('The Cohens and the Kellys'), or Baigent and Leigh v The Random House Group Ltd in the UK (the Da Vinci Code case) that tackle the issues raised when a set of historical facts and/or characters are used as the basis of a new work?"
Let's take 'recent' as meaning 'any time since the turn of the century' -- and let's widen the net to trawl for any copyright ruling from a common law jurisdiction. Any bright ideas?


Pablo Palazzi said...

Some cases
Jurisprudencia sobre hechos

Toksvig v. Bruce Publishing Co 181 F.2d 664 (7th Cir. 1950)

Rosemont Enterprises, Inc., v. Random House, Inc. y John Keats
366 F.2d 303 (1966)

A.A. Hoehling v. Universal City Studios, Inc, 618 F.2d 972 (2d Cir. 1980)

Miller v. Universal City Studios, Inc, 650 F.2d, 1372 (1981).

Nash v. CBS, 899 F.2d 1537; 1990 U.S. App. LEXIS 6346; 14 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1755; 17 Media L. Rep. 1798.

Pablo Palazzi

Michael Cooley said...

Two Australian cases:

Re Giovanni Zeccola , Liliana Zeccola , Superstar International Films Pty Ltd Franco Benito Adolfo Zeccola , Vincenzo Zeccola , Gregory Phillip Lynch, GL Film Enterprises Pty Ltd v Universal City Studios Inc [1982] FCA 241; (1982) 67 FLR 225 (26 November 1982)

Nine Films & Television Pty Ltd v Ninox Television Limited [2005] FCA 1404 (30 September 2005)