Keeling v. New Rock Theater Productions

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Intellectual Property

New York Law Journal

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District Judge Thomas Griesa

Keeling wrote "Point Break LIVE!" as a parody of 1991's "Point Break." Asserting copyright infringement, contract breach and tortious interference with contract Keeling contended that despite previously repudiating the license agreement New Rock Theater Productions and codefendant Garber continued to stage unlicensed infringing performances of "Point Break LIVE!." The court denied defendants summary judgment dismissing Keeling's 2010 complaint. It also denied the complaint's dismissal as against Garber, and dismissal of Keeling's statutory damages claim. Keeling's 2010 complaint was not time barred and that her decision not to hire an expert witness to testify about parody law did not warrant dismissal. Further, factual issues existed as to Garber's participation in the alleged infringement. Record evidence supported a conclusion that, among other things, minority owner Garber encouraged New Rock to repudiate its license agreement with Keeling while continuing to stage unlicensed performances of "Point Break LIVE!" so as to maximize profits. Also, fact issues existed whether the January 2008 performance of "Point Break LIVE!" was part of a series, supporting Keeling's claim for statutory damages under Copyright Act §412.

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