EMI Entertainment World v. Karen Records

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

, New York Law Journal

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Judge Loretta Preska

The court's 2011 $100,000 copyright infringement judgment in EMI's favor was grounded on EMI's purported ownership of the infringed upon musical copyrights. Newly discovered evidence showed that EMI lacks direct ownership of the subject copyrights. The court granted defendants' Aug. 15, 2012, motion to vacate judgment, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1)(3) and (4), for EMI's lack of standing to bring suit. EMI never disputed that it lacks, and never had, direct ownership of the subject copyrights, which are owned by EMI's wholly owned subsidiaries or entities on whose behalf EMI was authorized to act. Copyright certification notices provided by EMI showed that it was not the copyrights' named owner. Nor did EMI previously attempt to join the subsidiaries actually holding the subject copyrights. Based on EMI's lack of standing, Rules 60(b)(1) and (4) provide appropriate bases to vacate judgment. The "mistake" was that all parties, and the court, assumed jurisdiction over EMI based on EMI's representations that it owned the copyrights. The subsequent jurisdictional flaw rendered EMI's $100,000 copyright infringement judgment void. Further the reasonable period of time for joinder of EMI's subsidiaries has passed.

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