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Gary Friedrich Ghost Rider 2nd Circuit Opinion June 11 2013

Gary Friedrich Ghost Rider 2nd Circuit Opinion June 11 2013

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Published by Jeff Trexler
Gary Friedrich Ghost Rider 2nd Circuit Opinion June 11 2013
Gary Friedrich Ghost Rider 2nd Circuit Opinion June 11 2013

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Jeff Trexler on Jun 12, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/11/2013

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12-893-cv
Gary Friedrich Enters., LLC v. Marvel Characters, Inc.
 
U
NITED
S
TATES
C
OURT OF
A
PPEALS
 
FOR THE
S
ECOND
C
IRCUIT
 
August Term 2012(Argued: February 20, 2013 Decided: June 11, 2013)Docket No. 12-893-cv
G
ARY
F
RIEDRICH
E
NTERPRISES
,
 
LLC,
 
andG
ARY
F
RIEDRICH
,
Plaintiffs-Counter-Defendants-Appellants,
v.
M
ARVEL
C
HARACTERS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
a Delaware corporation,
 
Defendant-Counter-Claimant-Appellee,
M
ARVEL
E
NTERPRISES
,
 
I
NCORPORATED
,
a Delaware corporation,
M
ARVEL
E
NTERTAINMENT
,
 
I
NCORPORATED
,
a Delaware corporation,
M
ARVEL
S
TUDIOS
,
 
I
NC
.,
a Delaware corporation,
H
ASBRO
,
 
I
NC
.,
a RhodeIsland corporation,
T
AKE
T
WO
I
NTERACTIVE
S
OFTWARE
,
 
I
NC
.,
aDelaware corporation,
C
OLUMBIA
T
RI
-S
TAR
M
OTION
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ICTURE
G
ROUP
,
ajoint venture,
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OLUMBIA
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ICTURES
I
NDUSTRIES
,
 
I
NC
.,
a Delawarecorporation,
C
RYSTAL
S
KY
P
ICTURES
,
a California corporation,
 R
ELATIVITY
M
EDIA
L.L.C.,
a California corporation,
M
ICHAEL
D
E
L
UCA
P
RODUCTIONS
,
 
I
NC
.,
a California corporation,
S
ONY
P
ICTURES
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,
 
I
NC
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ARVEL
C
HARACTERS
B.V.,
 
M
ARVEL
I
NTERNATIONAL
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HARACTER
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OLDINGS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
M
ARVEL
W
ORLDWIDE
,
 
I
NC
.,
Defendants-Appellees,
 
3
 
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AY
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LINDS
,
 
AAG
LOBAL
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DORABLE
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IDS
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RT
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OM
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SGARD
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RESS
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ECKER
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ND
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ERKSHIRE
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EST
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ONSUMER
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RODUCTS
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NC
.,
 
B
IODOME
,
 
B
OWEN
D
ESIGNS
,
 
B
ROWN
S
HOES
,
 
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USTER
B
ROWN
&
 
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O
.,
 
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UY
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ITE
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ESIGNS
,
 
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ALEGO
I
NTERNATIONAL
,
 
CDV
ISIONARY
,
 
C
LICKS
W
ORLDWIDE
,
 
C
ORBIS
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C
OMIC
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ONOPCO
I
NC
.,
 
d/b/a
 
U
NILEVER
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d/b/a
 
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NILEVER
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ANADA
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
CSS
 
I
NDUSTRIES
,
 
DCL
 
M
OTION
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ICTURES
LLC,
 
C
OURAGE
B
RANDS
I
NC
.,
 
DCL
 
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OTION
P
ICTURES
,
 
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D
ESPERATE
E
NTERPRISES
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
D
IAMOND
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ND
C
OLLECTIBLES
LLC,
 
D
ORIS
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INDERSLY
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.,
 
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VERY
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ICTURES
T
ELLS
A
 
S
TORY
,
 
F
ANTASY
F
LIGHT
G
AMES
,
 
F
UNLINE
M
ERCHANDISE
,
 
G
AMER
G
RAPHICS
,
 
G
ELASKINS
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ENTLE
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IANT
L
TD
.,
 
G
RAPHICS
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H
ANDS
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N
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OBILE
A
MERICA
I
NC
.,
 
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EWLETT
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ACKARD
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OT
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OPIC
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NC
.,
 
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UGH
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AUTER
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EVIN
A
ND
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SSOCIATES
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AGO
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ORP
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SIA
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IMITED
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P
ACIFIC
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I
NC
.,
 
J
ASMAN
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SIA
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TD
.,
 
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AY
F
RANCO
&
 
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ONS
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I
NC
.,
 
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CQUISITION
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ROUP
,
 
d/b/a
 
D
ISGUISE
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NC
.,
 
J
OHNNY
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LAZE
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PORTSWEAR
,
 
K2,
 
I
NC
.,
 
K
ELLYTOY
(USA),
 
K
LUTZ
,
 
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OTOBUKIYA
,
 
KHQ
 
I
NVESTMENT
LLC,
 
KDT
 
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KSM
 
S
UPERHERO
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TD
.,
 
KSM
 
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NTERPRISE
I
NC
.,
 
L
ASER
M
ARCH
I
NC
.,
 
L
EAP
Y
EAR
P
UBLISHING
,
 
LF
 
USA
 
I
NC
.,
 
L
OWRIDER
T
ECHNOLOGY
G
ROUP
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
M
AD
E
NGINE
I
NC
.,
 
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AISTO
I
NTERNATIONAL
I
NC
.,
 
M
ASTER
R
EPLICAS
I
NC
.,
 
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ATTEL
I
NC
.,
 
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ATTEL
E
UROPA
,
 
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ATTEL
A
SIA
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ACIFICA
,
 
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ATTEL
O
VERSEAS
,
 
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EREDITH
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ORPORATION
,
 
MCA
 
I
NC
.,
 
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NTERTAINMENT
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
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FORMA
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MERICAS
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NC
.,
 
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FORMA
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OLDINGS
,
 
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TD
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EDICOM
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IGHTY
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INE
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NC
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OB
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OWN
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ONOGRAM
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NTERNATIONAL
,
 
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ERGER AND
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OMPANY
,
 
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NC
.,
 
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ATIONAL
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NTERTAINMENT
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OLLECTIBLES
A
SSOCIATION
I
NC
.,
 
NMTC,
 
d/b/a
 
M
ATCO
T
OOLS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
NR2B
 
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ESEARCH
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
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PPAREL
,
 
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UBYTECH
,
 
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HOTO
F
ILE
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
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LANETWIDE
G
AMES
,
 
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OP
C
ULTURE
G
RAPHICS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
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AND
I
NTERNATIONAL
,
 
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AVEN
S
OFTWARE
,
 
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C
ORPORATION
,
 
R
ITTENHOUSE
A
RCHIVE
,
 
L
TD
.,
 
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ARA
L
EE
C
ORPORATION
,
 
d/b/a
 
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LUTZ
,
 
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CREENLIFE
LLC,
 
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EGA
C
ORPORATION
,
 
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EGA OF
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MERICA
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
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IDESHOW
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OLLECTIBLES
,
 
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NC
.,
 
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OTA
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OYS
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PENCER
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EED
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CCESSORIES
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TD
.,
 
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PIN
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ASTER
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.,
 
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TREET
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,
 
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TRETCH
-O-R
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,
 
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NC
.,
 
S
WICHERZ
LLC,
 
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NC
.,
 
TM
 
I
NTERNATIONAL
,
 
d/b/a
 
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AAVI
,
 
d/b/a
 
VSI,
 
U
PPER
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ECK
C
OMPANY
,
 
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OY
I
SLAND
M
ANUFACTURING
C
OMPANY
,
 
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TD
.,
 
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OY
T
HINGS
,
 
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RENDS
I
NTERNATIONAL
LLC,
 
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RI
-C
OASTAL
D
ESIGN
,
 
T
UPPERWARE
B
RANDS
C
ORPORATION
,
 
US
 
N
UTRITION
I
NC
.,
 
U
LTIMATE
L
ICENSING
G
ROUP
LLC,
 
U
NION
U
NDERWEAR
C
OMPANY
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
d/b/a
 
F
RUIT OF THE
L
OOM
,
 
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NIVERSAL
 
 
- 3 -
C
ITY
,
 
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NIVERSAL
D
ESIGNS
,
 
L
TD
.,
 
V
ETEMENT
A
DORABLE
T
OO
,
 
W
AGER
L
OGIC
L
IMITED
,
 
W
ALGREEN
C
OMPANY
,
 
W
EAR
M
E
A
PPAREL
C
ORP
.,
 
W
HAT
K
IDS
W
ANT
I
NTERNATIONAL
,
 
W
HAT
K
IDS
W
ANT
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
W
ILTON
B
RANDS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
W
ILTON
I
NDUSTRIES
I
NC
.,
 
W
IZ
K
IDS
LLC,
 
Y
ELLOWMAN
LLC,
 
Y
ORK
W
ALLCOVERINGS
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
Z
AZZLE
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
Z
IZZLE
H
OLDING
L
IMITED
,
 
MVL
 
I
NTERNATIONAL
C.V.,
 
M
ARVEL
E
NTERTAINMENT
,
 
LLC,
 
A
CTIVISION
B
LIZZARD
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
S
CHOLASTIC
,
 
I
NC
.,
 
DCL
 
M
OTION
P
RODUCTS
,
 
W
ALT
D
ISNEY
C
OMPANY
,
Defendants.
Before:W
INTER
,
 
C
HIN
,
AND
D
RONEY
,
Circuit Judges
.Appeal from a judgment of the United StatesDistrict Court for the Southern District of New York(Forrest,
J.
), dismissing the amended complaint forcopyright infringement brought by the purported creator ofthe comic book character Ghost Rider, and awarding damagesto the publishing company on its counterclaim for copyrightinfringement. The district court held as a matter of lawthat plaintiff-counter-defendant-appellant Gary Friedrichassigned any rights he retained in the renewal term of the1972 Ghost Rider copyrights to the predecessor ofdefendant-counter-claimant-appellee Marvel Characters, Inc.in a 1978 form work-for-hire contract. We conclude that

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