3fundamental disagreement between the parties concerning whether Movie Defendants have
violated Plaintiffs’ rights.
LEGAL STANDARD FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Movie Defendants correctly set forth the elements requisite for a finding of copyright
infringement. A plaintiff must prove “(1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original.”
Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv.Co.
, 499 U.S.340, 361 (1991). For purposes of this Motion, Movie Defendants concede thatPlaintiffs own a valid copyright to Storybook and that Movie Defendants had access to the work.
Motion at 8.
ibit E to Plaintiffs’ Complaint evidencing the memorialization by
Defendant WME of Movie Defendant Disney’s interest in Plaintiffs’ story.
Accordingly, the lone element Plaintiffs must properly plead to survive a Motion to
Dismiss is “copying of constituent elements of the work that are original”. Plaintiffs have pled
and indeed believe Movie Defendants have actually copied Storybook. This remains in factual
dispute. Further, Defendants appear to concede this is a “potential factual dispute” in Motion
Motion at 8. To counter, Movie Defendants assert, “[w]here, as here, the lack of similarity between the parties’ respective works is obvious, judgment as a matter of law is appropriate
notwithstanding the presence of potential factual disputes concerning whether there was actual
copying, such as whether defendants had access to the plaintiff’s work”.
Confusingly, thisphrase is followed (after an additional sentence) by a citation to
v. PRN Productions, Inc.,et al.
, 873 F.2d 1141, 1143 (8
Cir. 1989).Plaintiffs have reviewed this case in great detail insomuch as it is the only 8
Circuit casesupporting the
Movie Defendants’ proposition that the
Court may, pursuant to a Motion toDismiss, dismiss the Complaint if the Court believes ther
e is a lack of “substantial similarity”
Case: 4:11-cv-02207-CDP Doc. #: 43 Filed: 03/26/12 Page: 3 of 25 PageID #: 564