Dale Dietrich
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Shawn Hogan Files Motion to Dismiss MPAA Case Based on Faulty Copyright Registration

Categories: BigMedia v. P2P UsersCases

Text of Motion to Dismiss Last August I wrote about millionaire Shawn Hogan's decision to fight back against the MPAA's allegation that he illegally downloaded "Meet the Fockers". His defense was that he did not do this and wouldn't have since he already owned the DVD. During pre-trial discovery Hogan's legal team discovered that the copyright to the movie was registered by Universal City Studios, LLLP and not the plaintiff to the lawsuit, Universal City Studios Productions LLLP. The plaintiff counters that rights to the movie were assigned to it prior to the filing of a faulty copyright registration. Hogan has filed a motion to dismiss on the following grounds:

  1. section 17 USCS § 411(a), of the U.S. Copyright Act provides:
    …no action for infringement of the copyright in any work shall be instituted until registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title…

  2. section 17 USCS § 408(a) provides that only the "…owner of copyright or of any exclusive right in the work may obtain registration of the copyright claim…" and
  3. since the plaintiff, if it is the owner, did not register the copyright, it has no standing to assert a claim of infringement.

Dale's Comment: If the court does dismiss the claim on this basis, however, the plaintiff could correct the copyright registration problem and institute the action a new. We'll see.

Sources: Text of Motion to Dismiss | Recording Industry v. The People | Shawn Hogan's Blog | TechDirt

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