Intellectual Property Keyed to Merges
Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
Bill Graham Archives, LLC (BGA) (Plaintiff) owned the copyright in seven Grateful Dead (a rock band) event posters and ticket images that Dorling Kindersley Ltd. (DK) (Defendant), in collaboration with Grateful Dead Productions, sought to reprint in reduced-size in a book titled Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip (Illustrated Trip), which was intended as a cultural history of the band. Illustrated Trip contains over 2000 images representing dates in the history of Grateful Dead in chronological order along with a time-line and explanatory text. A typical page of the book features a collage of images, text, and graphic art designed to simultaneously capture the eye and inform the reader. Defendant initially sought permission from Plaintiff to reprint the images, but, after failing to do so, published the book with the images without a license or grant of permission. The images are displayed in significantly reduced form and are accompanied by captions describing the concerts they represent. When Defendant refused to meet Plaintiff’s post-publication license fee demands, Plaintiff filed suit for copyright infringement. The district court dismissed the action on summary judgment, and the court of appeals granted review.
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